CEO Blog

Category Archives: Strategy

All blog posts by Kevin Dee, Chairman at Eagle — Canada’s premier staffing agency, related to business strategy.

Persistence or Stalking?

Sales quote from Patricia FrippWhen you are in sales there is a tough line to walk between being a stalker and being persistent.

There are lots of statistics suggesting that salespeople give up too early, BUT if there is no “client need” then pushing too hard is not going to help.

Recently I spotted an article about some reporting tool that caught my interest at that particular moment.  It was a point in time thing, but (silly me) I clicked through to the website.  There are so many tools on the internet that tell suppliers about who has been on their website … so I’m guessing that within microseconds the supplier knew exactly who had just clicked onto their site.

A small sidebar.  I find these tools fascinating, but creepy and I’m pretty sure I am not alone.  Use them carefully, and be empathetic to your “target” … and I use that word carefully!

I guess the fact that I clicked right back off within 5 seconds of reading their landing page was not considered relevant data in their sales and marketing world.

The calls started about an hour later.  “We noticed you were on our site … we’d love to help, give me a call I’m SalesGuy at (xxx) xxx-xxxx”.

Nothing wrong with that, he was responsive and just trying to convert a website visitor.

I ignored the call.

The second call came before the end of the day, and continued twice a day for some time.  All ignored.

I’m an old sales guy, and I have some empathy for a sales guy wanting to make something happen.  I’m also a busy guy running a company who cannot afford to take time out to talk with every sales guy who calls me.

This crossed the line of persistence and became stalking.

“To satisfy our customers’ needs, we’ll give them what they want, not what we want to give them.”  Steve James

So, here is some advice if you really want to get some traction with someone like me, using the tools available to you.

  1. A brief flicker of interest is always worth following up … but read the signs!
  2. A brief flicker of interest CAN be fanned into something more tangible, by feeding it with some valuable information.
  3. If I showed a flicker of interest I might be open to temptation, if it does not take much time.
  4. If you send me a link to your website … it is highly unlikely I will click through.
  5. If you send me attachments it is highly unlikely I will read them.
  6. If you want my attention you will need to be brief, relevant and have some kind of impact.
  7. It is possible to get that interest over time, IF you do not overwhelm me. I have one salesperson who has consistently called me three or four times a year for probably 8 years.  I have never found that to be stalking, but I do admire the persistence … I just have never had need of his services, yet.
  8. A steady flow of interesting content might work over time.
  9. Persistent stalking is going to turn me off quickly and will never get you business.
  10. You can remain “on my radar” because you are professionally persistent. However when the right time comes, I will remember you.

In business to business selling, clients do not always need your services or products right now, but you can still get their interest for when they might.  That of course makes it a longer sales cycle, but it also doesn’t take a whole lot of your sales time.

“Make a customer not a sale.” Katherine Barchetti

Bring value.
Be relevant.
Remain in contact … on a schedule that makes sense.
You might call that “Pragmatic Persistence”!

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Twelve Lessons on Building a Company Culture

Jack Welch quote on cultureThere is a significant amount of focus on company culture these days, and with good reason.  If you want a sustainable entity then a positive company culture is a good start, it is a great way to attract & retain talent plus it is a positive message to clients and shareholders.

Where I get a little concerned is when I see leaders establishing a “project” to “fix the culture”.  It might well be the right thing to do, in that there needs to be a plan to establish a strong corporate culture but it is not really a project, because working at culture never ends.

In our more than twenty year journey from starting this company we have learned many lessons along the way, and have received recognition for some of the good things we have been able to do.

I thought I would share some of my thoughts on culture, based on our journey.

  1. Steven Covey played a big part in our company culture … and Habit #2 “Begin with the end in mind” was just one factor in our development.  In order to develop the right kind of culture we needed to define the kind of company that we wanted to be.
  2. One of my previous employers was consulting company Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. Their methodology at that time focused very much on alignment between People, Process, Technology and Strategy.  This was another critical influence for us.  It is important to have all parts of the company pulling in the same direction.
  3. In line with the above, we needed to develop a mission, vision and core values that inspired us, were meaningful to us and that we could live with … even when decisions were tough. This was an important process for us, and while they have been modified over the years, they are fundamentally the same today as they were back then!
  4. We don’t live in a perfect world so we had to learn some patience. Rome was not built in a day.  There are always setbacks, poor hires, wrong turns along the way and tough economic times to traverse.
  5. A business needs to be profitable in order to pay its people, its suppliers and provide the right level of service to its clients. This means that you might want to provide more “goodies” for your employees, but it has to be done prudently.  I like to point at Nortel, which was a company that its employees loved because they had big salaries and amazing benefits … unfortunately that was not sustainable and most of those employees had trouble finding jobs that could offer anything similar.  As a private company we need to live within our means.
  6. For us, our vision meant focusing our efforts on clients, our own employees and on the candidates that work with. We have continually looked for ways to improve those relationships.  This focus allows us to ensure business decisions we make are in line with that vision.
  7. A positive culture within our company means that we have high expectations of our people, and that we provide them with training and the tools to e successful. We create an atmosphere focused on one of our core values, TEAM, and we are prepared to invest in growth.  We give monthly and annual recognition for employees that excel and that exemplify the behaviors we associate with our values.
  8. You can never please all of the people, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.
  9. If you have a clear culture then you will attract the people that fit your culture, and those who do not will self identify quickly.
  10. The number one reason why culture is successful, or not, is leadership. It needs 100% commitment from the whole leadership team.
  11. Sometimes you will need to make tough decisions to preserve the culture you want, or you risk getting the culture that just happens!
  12. It is a work in progress that can never be considered complete.

In addition to being a Platinum member of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies program our company has been recognized as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures and one of Canada’s Best Workplaces.

The awards indicate that we are on the right track and we are enjoying the journey … but it IS a journey!

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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It is Time to Take a Hard Look at Payrolling

Jack Welch quote about teamsCompanies have many excellent reasons why they use a flexible workforce to supplement their full time staff.  Like any purchase, organizations want to get the best price possible for these services and one of the ways they try to save money is by sourcing the people themselves and then “payrolling” them through a third party, for a small fee.  The rationale is that the fee paid to the agency is reduced and thus the company saves money.

A detailed analysis of the facts shows that (a) companies do NOT save money, in fact they actually pay more.  PLUS (b) those organisations introduce increased corporate risk!

Here is a look at the real costs of payrolling:

  1. The average payrolled resource will actually be paid above market value, because there is no competitive process.
  2. By the time a payrolling fee is added, the amount paid by the organisation is higherthan they would have paid the agency to do the work for them.  Eagle’s internal analysis would suggest that on average the difference is greater than 10%!
  3. The increased rate paid to the individual causes a market issue over time because they expect that increased rate for all of their future work.  So overall market rates get edged up artificially and companies end up paying EVEN more for these resources into the future.
  4. There is also a hidden cost for the internal company resources who will have spent their efforts in finding this person, instead of focusing on their company’s core business.

In addition to dollar considerations there are corporate risk issues:

  1. The independent resource is not as independent as one sourced through a third party.  They have a relationship to the organisation’s hiring manager, they won their role without competition thus creating a potential conflict of interest with the organisation’s hiring manager.  This can make it more difficult to handle potential performance issues.
  2. Employer/employee relationships are a tricky area when talking about independent contractors or worse still “sole proprietors” who operate as independents. Many government departments, both federal and provincial, led by CRA are very interested in this area.  Payrolling erodes the independence factor and thus increases risk to the hiring company.
  3. Recent practices by some third parties of charging the payrolling fee to the individualscauses an even greater risk.  Positioned as an easy “money saving” scheme to the client, it can end up being a minefield as evidenced by a recent $384 million class action lawsuit launched against one large Canadian company and their third party provider!  It is worth noting that it is illegal in Canada to charge an individual a fee for work, so if an independent contractor is not really independent, then in addition to scrutiny on remittances you might have a big legal problem.

Companies can benefit most by engaging credible suppliers to compete on every resource requirement.  This approach means that companies can focus on their actual costs, not on other factors such as what their supplier might make.  According to Statistics Canada, the average bottom line in the staffing industry in Canada is 3 to 5% of revenues.  So chances are, your staffing supplier is NOT making out like a bandit!  Let the market forces work, and everyone benefits!

So the best choice for organizations, for both price AND risk management, is the competitive market.

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Make Change Stick

Jim Rohn quote about cIf you are like me then you will always be looking for ways to be better, in many areas of your life.  I work at my professional role, my home life, my relationships and my health.  If I want to improve anything it requires change, and as we all know change is tough!

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

It is no big surprise to anyone that wanting to make changes, and being successful at those changes are a world apart!  As anyone who has failed in their attempts to quit smoking, or lose weight can tell you.  I would go so far as to say that most of us will fail at implementing change most of the time, BUT if we truly want to get better we need to find a way!

Effecting change in your life, whether it is as simple as committing to more exercise or as complex as making a career change or starting a business, is hard!  Here are three principles to apply if you want to be successful at implementing change in your life.

  1. Consciously create new routines … the mere act of creating routines will work with your brain, not against it.
  2. Keep it simple … take the “eating an elephant” approach, one bite at a time.
  3. Have a plan … not just a goal, but a plan with action items to help you reach that goal.

It is easier to make small changes and create new routines, than to make BIG changes in your life in one go.  If you can make multiple small changes over time, that together add up to meeting your goal, then you will be far more likely to succeed.

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want.”  Richard Yates

It is important that when we “fail” to achieve the change we want, we don’t just give up.  The right answer is to adjust the plan and try again.

“Fall down seven times.  Stand up eight!”  Japanese proverb.

Change becomes easier when we see success from our efforts.  By having smaller goals, and making incremental changes you will see small successes and use them for motivation.
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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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The Recruiter Value Proposition Continued

Famous People on the bus quote from Jim CollinsIn recent articles I talked about some of the reasons why hiring managers should invest in a relationship with their recruiters.   I talked about three key reasons:

  • Just in time staffing. Their reach in finding talent when you need it;
  • Upgrading.  Their ability to help you improve your team; and
  • Knowledge Transfer. Their ability to bring expertise that can share their knowledge with your existing team.

Here are just a couple more reasons why you might want to spend some regular time with your recruiter.

“The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.”  Steve Jobs

Market Knowledge:

Recruiters have an excellent pulse on the market and know what skills are in demand, what are scarce, what rates are and what the trends are.

If you have an upcoming project that will require a particular skill set it would make sense for you to understand the availability of that skill set in your market and the associated potential cost.

Managers can a learn a lot about what their competition is doing from recruiters.  Are they hiring or laying off?   Is there a buzz about their culture … do people like working there?  There are often times where companies can benefit from hiring someone with experience at a competitor (obviously respecting non-competition clauses) and your recruiter can find those people.

I wish I had a dollar for every manager that wanted to understand their own value in the market!

“Often the best solution to a management problem is the right person.” Edwin Booz

Cost containment:

This can come in many flavors, and a recruiter with a partner attitude will try to bring value where they can.

Many companies have a tendency to hire friends … people they know and trust.  Clearly there are very good reasons for doing this, but it is never the most cost effective solution … because there is no competitive process to ensure that the contract rate, or salary is competitive.  We always recommend our clients compete the position, with the “friend” as one candidate.  This allows the hiring manager to see if there are potentially better candidates and ensure the cost is in line with the market.

There is a misconception that contract employees are more expensive that full time staff, and this can color a decision the wrong way.  A good recruiter can guide a hiring manager through an analysis that takes into account the “real cost” of an employee.  Sometimes the answer is NOT to go full time … especially when flexibility, training and management costs and the impact of pensions and company benefits are taken into account.

“The key for us, number one, has always been hiring very smart people.” Bill Gates

The traditional way that recruiters can help clients to get cost effective solutions is as relevant as it always has been.  Often clients think they need an expert to do the job, so having a few candidates to look at and understand the relative cost/experience/capability can result in a better fit!

I read a FastCompany article just this morning that suggests one of the biggest challenges that CEOs will face in 2015 is finding the right talent.  Having a relationship with a good recruiter is a great way for companies to be ahead of the game with that challenge.

“The marketplace is incredibly competitive in every industry around the globe.  The difference between success and failure is talent, period!”  Indra Nooyi, CEO Pepsico

So … go ahead hug your recruiter today!
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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
—————————————————————————————————————————————–


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The Continuing Value of a Recruiter to The Client

invest in people There are many reasons why clients will go to a recruiter.  Some of those reasons are fairly common and others are not so common.  Typically clients look to a recruiter when they have an urgent need for talent … but an ongoing relationship with your recruiter will mean you can actually get proactive!

Today I will talk about the kind of situation many managers face, the need to bring new knowledge into the organization.  There are many reasons why this is needed.

  • You do not have a key skill amongst your employees;
  • A key resource leaves and the skill leaves with them; or
  • A new technology comes into the company and you have no-one with that skill.

Typically companies will approach these situations in a few different ways:

  • Hire someone new into the position who has that skill;
  • Hire a contractor into the position;
  • Muddle through; or
  • Outsource the responsibility to an external supplier.

There are however many times when you have good employees, who could do the work if they had the right experience.  They are also people you would want to reward with this kind of opportunity and if your could then it would strengthen their tie to your organization.

What can you do?

Your recruiter can help you to identify the right kind of contract resource, who can bring the experience and the skill.  Their task would NOT be to do the work themselves but to partner with the internal employee through the process of getting them up to speed, while ensuring the work is done well.  As a part of their mandate they could even train a few in house people in relevant skills to ensure adequate backup for your new in-house expert.  This approach is more attractive to in house resources who might resent the “sexy” projects being given to contract resources.

The short term cost might be a little higher than hiring a net new person, or even hiring a contractor for the duration.  Longer term you have the skills you need, happy employees and your costs are likely to be less.

“If you take care of your employees they will take care of your customers and your business will take care of itself.”  J W Marriott

It requires a little more planning and the right expectation setting with both the contractor and the employee.  It might require a willingness to put in a little extra effort on the part of the employee, but they will be getting new skills in return.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”  Chinese Proverb

This is just one more reason why hiring managers should have an ongoing relationship with their recruiter.  A good recruiter will be able to understand the business issue, find exactly the right candidate and set the right expectations with an incoming contract resource.
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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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The Value of a Recruiter to a Hiring Manager

Rob Crandall quote about upgrading your teamFor some people a recruiter is a “necessary evil” … someone that they call as a last resort, when they are desperate to fill a role.  The rest of the time they will avoid them.

The fact is that in addition to being a source of talent there are many reasons why a hiring manager should cultivate a relationship with their recruiting supplier, especially when there is no immediate and burning need.  The recruiter is a great resource that can help with a number of management challenges … so I would counsel hiring managers to put their recruiters to work!

Today I will focus on how a good recruiter can help you improve your existing team.  This is especially important during quieter economic times.

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don’t interfere as long as the policy you’ve decided upon is being carried out.”  Ronald Reagan

During a downturn, excellent talent comes on the market or at the very least is willing to have conversations about other opportunities.  It might be their company is struggling, a project lost funding or just the uncertainty of their particular situation … but it spells opportunity for the astute hiring manager.   Especially if they have a good recruiter finding these people for them!

In my management experience the number one source of pain has always been the underperforming employee with the attitude problem.  They might do just enough to “get by”, but they cause their manager heart burn, take more management time than the rest of your staff and they disrupt the team dynamics.

I would suggest that most managers that have a number of people on their project, or working for them will have their “problem child”.

Imagine how much better your days would be if that person were replaced by someone like one of your top performers!  Suddenly stress would be reduced, productivity would be increased and you would find time to spend on more enjoyable activities.  Your team would be happier and so would you.

If you have a relationship with your recruiter you can talk about these things.  You can have them keep an eye out for the “A’ player that might fit your team.  If you have a relationship they will know the soft skills that are needed, they will understand the hard skills that are mandatory and they will not waste your time by firing over resumes of people who might just be another problem child.

Companies always talk about the cost of recruiting and how expensive it is … well think about the real return on investment in this one move!  What dollar benefit would your company receive by replacing one poor performer with an “A Player”?

This is just ONE reason you need to have a relationship with your recruiter!

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Practical Tips for Driving Your Day

Jim Rohn quote about time managementI often talk about the need to take control of your time.  Too often we come to the office and just “do stuff”, which means that your day is driving you.

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” Yogi Berra

Sometimes when I talk about this subject I see heads nodding, the recognition that what I am saying makes sense … but all too often people don’t change how they operate.

“The only possible way to have it ALL is with structure and the discipline to keep to it, to make it a routine.” Margot Hattingh

Here are some ideas about exactly HOW you can drive your day using goals, routines and priorities.

  1. Set some goals … they can be your own or set by the company. g. If you are in sales you may have a goal that supports meeting your sales quota.  If you are a recruiter you might have a goal of interviewing 2 people a day.  Other examples might be learning goals (1 one hour seminar a month etc.) or numbers of people to talk with or meet with.
  2. Understand which tasks have the highest priority related to your job. If you are in sales they might be client meetings or calls; if you are a recruiter it might be conversations with candidates or interviews.  These tasks will be the ones that have the most impact.  These are “A” type priority items.
  3. Understand what the mandatory “other tasks” are in your job. These might be internal reporting, meetings with your boss etc.   These will be “B” type priority items.
  4. Create your Master To Do list. I always suggest having this separate from your notebook (or wherever you capture notes).  I like to capture what I have done in my notebook, and keep a separate list of things I need to do.  Identify which are high priority tasks, which are
  5. Create a standard “start of day” routine with reminders generated in your calendar. These could be “Start of Day routine” … review To Dos; identify what to do that day; book time in calendar for specific tasks (more later).   This should be done BEFORE opening email or listening to voicemail.  It should be revised if necessary after those tasks.
  6. Create a standard “end of day” routine (again with reminders) Review To Do’s; Identify calendar items for next day & any required preparation; celebrate completing tasks etc.
  7. Create a standard end of week routine; a standard end of month routine (that might include monthly report generation etc.)
  8. Measure yourself against your goals regularly … as it makes sense. If your goal is to have 10 client meetings a week, then you can measure that every day … meetings you have had plus those planned gives you a shortfall to correct.
  9. Always put the emphasis on high return (A type priorities).
  10. Build time into your day for the “B type” activities.
  11. Build time into your day for breaks.
  12. When NOT on a break focus on work!

If you can do that you will be driving your day.

“Goals are the fuel in the furnace of achievement.” Brian Tracy

What did I miss?  What else could you do?

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Kevin Dee is Chairman and founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
________________________________________________________________


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Surviving a Downturn (in Alberta?)

oil rigs

I first wrote this blog in January 2015 and here we are in April 2016 … and it still holds true!

Here in Canada, where the resource sector plays such a big role in our economy there is some concern about what kind of economy we are going to see in 2015.  The price of oil is unlikely to recover quickly and the conference board is suggesting that Alberta will head into recession.

This will have people wringing their hands and concerned for their future.  The most pragmatic will already be making plans for the new realities and those who have not yet done that will either throw your hands in the air and hope for the best … or better yet will knuckle down and do what is needed!

The following is advice that I remember reading from Tom Peters at the start of the last recession … it was sobering, but reality.  It seemed like a good time to pull it out again.

I am constantly asked for “strategies/’secrets’ for surviving the recession.” I try to appear wise and informed—and parade original, sophisticated thoughts. But if you want to know what’s going through my head, read the list below:

You work longer.
You work harder.
You may well work for less; and, if so, you adapt to the untoward circumstances with a smile—even if it kills you inside.
You volunteer to do more.
You always bring a good attitude to work.
You fake it if your good attitude flags.
You literally practice your “game face” in the mirror in the morning, and in the loo mid-morning.
You shrug off shit that flows downhill in your direction—buy a shovel or a “pre-worn” raincoat on eBay.
You get there earlier.
You leave later.
You forget about “the good old days”—nostalgia is for wimps.
You buck yourself up with the thought that “this too shall pass”—but then remind yourself that it might not pass anytime soon, so you re-dedicate yourself to making the absolute best of what you have now.
You eschew all forms of personal excess.
You simplify.
You sweat the details as you never have before.
You sweat the details as you never have before.
You sweat the details as you never have before.
You raise to the sky the standards of excellence by which you evaluate your own performance.
You thank others by the truckload if good things happen—and take the heat yourself if bad things happen.
You behave kindly, but you don’t sugarcoat or hide the truth—humans are startlingly resilient.
You treat small successes as if they were Superbowl victories—and celebrate and commend accordingly.
You shrug off the losses (ignoring what’s going on inside your tummy), and get back on the horse and try again.
You avoid negative people to the extent you can—pollution kills.
You eventually read the gloom-sprayers the riot act.
You learn new tricks of your trade.
You network like a demon.
You help others with their issues.
You give new meaning to the word “thoughtful.”
You redouble, re-triple your efforts to “walk in your customer’s shoes.” (Especially if the shoes smell.)
You mind your manners—and accept others’ lack of manners in the face of their strains.
You are kind to all mankind.
You leave the blame game at the office door.
You become a paragon of accountability.
And then you pray.

Thanks Tom!

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Find Canada’s top hot jobs, updated in real-time!  Visit Eagle’s Job Centre!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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Are You Changing With the Times?

11 Questions to Ask Yourself About Change

Vince Lombardi quote about winning in a complex societyOur world is constantly changing and we all need to adapt with it if we want to survive and remain relevant!

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”  Jack Welch

If you are a salesperson, what are you doing differently to ensure that meet your targets in 2015?  You can be sure that someone out there wants to eat your lunch, how are you going to combat that?  How are you going to take market share from your competitors?

If you are a business owner or a leader of any kind you need to be aware of your environment and adapt to the inevitable changes affecting you and your business.

We are a couple of weeks into January and already there have been some big impacts on our world here in Canada.  Target announced it is shutting its Canadian operation, Sony is shutting its Canadian retail operation and Mexx is shutting down.  The conference board suggests that Alberta will go into recession based upon the price of oil and the Canadian dollar is as weak as it has been for a long time.

There are disruptors gaining traction in many industries … a couple of examples would be Uber in the taxi/limousine space and AirBnB in the hotel space.  Are there disruptors in your space?  Would you know if there were?

Skills shortages associated with the professions are a growing issue, but that may come with high unemployment in the unskilled labor market because of the attraction to offshore manufacturing.

Add to all of the above factors the uncertainty created by international terrorism and you have a market that looks very different from this time last year.

“Enterprises that do not adapt are in for a lot of trouble.” John McCallum

Here are 11 questions you might want to ask within your organization …

  1. Do you understand what internal and external factors will affect your business?
  1. Do you understand the risks AND opportunities?
  1. Are you listening to your clients? Are you asking them good questions?  Do you know how they will react?
  1. If you are in management are you listening to you staff … because they are closer to the action? Are you arming them with the right questions to ask?
  1. Do you have a game plan for 2015? How is it different than 2014/2013/2012/1998?
  1. Are you active in your industry association? Do you know what your competitors are planning?
  1. When did you last do a strategic plan?
  1. When did you last look outside your own business?
  1. When did you last do an extensive account planning exercise?
  1. Are you executing on the planning that you have done?
  1. Do you have the right people on your team, or could you benefit from “upgrading”?

If you can answer these questions well you are likely in a minority, and well positioned for the future.  If you are doing the “same old, same old” then just maybe you should act now before it is too late!

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
Gain a competitive edge!  Join Eagle’s Executive Consulting Network!
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective) VirtualRecruiter service?
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