Blog

Accountability

accountabilityAccountability is the base of business, leadership, friendship, etc.  The challenge within it can be very real.  Two thoughts on leaning into accountability:

1.)  Know that the lens you look through changes, and be aware that impacts   accountability as well. Revisit what you need to address throughout your life.

2.)  Accountability goes beyond you.  You model and support your business’s culture, your team, your friends, and show leadership by showing others your commitment and integrity through your commitment to holding yourself and others accountable.

Accountability can be challenging because it is not always easy holding yourself accountable, nor is it always popular holding others accountable.  You will often need to do a gut check and pick your path.  Are you traveling the path of popularity, or the path of integrity.

#1 Workforce Attraction Resource in Manufacturing

social media.jpgThe number one workforce attraction resource isn’t money, although money is up there, it is social media.  If you don’t have a social media recruiting strategy, you are spending more time and money then you need to in recruiting.  Stop using your words and burning your time. Connect to potential new employees by meeting them where they are via social media.

  1. People relate to those they see as having commonality with themselves.  Have a current employee in a gorilla marketing video for your manufacturing facility and post it.  Not only will you see organic sharing of it, the shares will be right to your target audience.
  2. Management vs. Workers.  Human nature propels a very us vs. them dynamic be it in sports, school rivalry, politics, management vs. workers, etc.  Who is doing your outreach, is it someone your target audience will work alongside with, or answer to?  Connecting to someone that you’ll work alongside presents a potentially higher level of trust. BIG difference in seeing a picture of a supervisor vs. a picture of a group of co-workers on Instagram.
  3. Quit saying and/or writing things like ‘it’s not your grandfather’s factory,’ no matter what age of worker you are trying to attract.  Why?  Because when you do so you’ve automatically planted ‘the past’ into prospects minds.  You’ve also planted the idea that there was something wrong when a prior generation did the work.  Both reference points are negative.  Pictures/videos through social media will automatically convey the setting you are looking to engage others in.  Let the pictures/video do the work for you.

In Demand Jobs Week Vs In Demand Employee

omjstencil-300x300This week is “In Demand Jobs Week” with all kinds of workforce activities going on.  What is an “in demand” job?  That probably depends on where you are located.  Regardless of the job, this week also merits reminding those who are looking for employment, as well as those hiring, that the employee is the one “in demand.”  

No matter how a job is marketed, it comes down to is the employee the right fit.  Recently while doing mock interviews at an area high school I was asked for what is the best advice I’d give to someone preparing to interview.  It is as follows, be authentic, be yourself.  The level of disengaged employees is over 70%, a number that should concern employers and job seekers.  That level of disengagement is a clear statement in our focus on jobs rather than the people we need to fill them.

Job seekers, be yourself and you’ll land in an organizational culture that fits you. Employers, is your organizational culture one that fits the employees you are trying to attract?

Leadership vs Ego

How do you know if you are a good leader?  Step one, lead without ego.  I just saw “ego is not your amigo” somewhere.  First I laughed, and then I thought how true, and how unfortunate more of us don’t realize that.

Ego can not only get in the way of your success, it can block your talent overall.  If you are more interested in if you are going to get or are getting the credit, than actually getting things done, you have an ego issue.  The problem with ego, is it spins into all kinds of unattractive behaviors which in turn will lift the veil on your “leadership” or more likely the lack there of.

Once people get a whiff of your ego, they’ll write you off as inauthentic.  Once people sense it is about “you” rather than “we” they’ll drop their level of engagement.  We operate in a very ego driven culture; subsequently, it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that approximately 51 percent of employees are unengaged, and 17 percent are actively disengaged.  That is significant, and obviously a huge drag on productivity.

Einstein said it best, and I’ll leave it at that…

einstein

Quit Treating Economic Development Like A Game Show

Economic development projects are not something you win.  Economic development projects are something you first have a community plan for, along with collaboration and engagement with community partners, and then when an opportunity rises you have the economic intelligence to go after what fits your community culture and future, and pass on what does not.

Are you in your community sweet spot for smart growth and quality of life or are you just playing “Let’s Make A Deal”? Here are some indicators…

If your community has never passed on a “lead” your community is doing it wrong.

If you have no policy on what merits incentives and what does not, you are planning to fail.

If leadership is offering incentives as a “free gift with purchase” without running a formula on what the actual company need is, you are wasting taxpayer dollars.

Incentives are great, as is economic development; however, the propensity of human beings to win at all costs is what mucks things up.  And there is your loop back to economic development needing economic intelligence.  Freewheeling a deal is basically putting your taxpayers in second place and some strangers with either real, or possibly magic beans in the number one slot.

There are a lot of abandoned buildings out there that once housed projects communities fought for and incentivized, such as these three in Ohio.  None of us are surprised there are no politicians and glory grabbers standing at this end of the deal.

 

Economic Intelligence, A Must

Without economic intelligence your economic development efforts are basically just bribing companies to come to your community, often at the cost of the community itself.  What is economic intelligence?  It is knowing parameters, trends, competition, community cost per dollar, and community keys involving the greater good over the human propensity to win at all cost.

Economic intelligence in economic development is what makes economic development ethical, rather than a glory grabbing, win at all cost, race to the bottom.  Corporate is great, but putting corporate over the community you are representing is not.

'Remember, it's not a lie if it makes us money.'

Economic Development Incentive Policy

tax incentivesTax incentive policy is missing in most community governments.  This seems at odds with most community governments being pro-economic development.  How can you define what type of project merits a tax incentive if there are no guidelines?  How do you justify to the tax payers picking up the tab if you believe an incentive was warranted?  Obviously, you don’t and you can’t.

I’ve done economic development deals in multiple States with varying sizes of governments, and what continues to surprise me it the question, “should we give more?”  While the question is a valid question, it underlines the need to set a definition of what projects merit incentives, and which do not.  Otherwise how do you justify governance and equity in the distribution of tax dollars?

Tax incentives have been around for decades, so why haven’t more communities defined parameters to gauge project worth more often?  Perhaps the answer is partially within the dynamic of getting “a win”, rather than defining what a true community “win” looks like.

Strategic Plans Are Great, But…

ideas

Strategic planning is not only great, it is necessary to set an organization, staff, and board up for success.  What is often missed however, is the importance of a fund development plan.  How do you know what you can do in a strategic plan if you don’t know what money you have to support and implement the included items?

Fund development is essential.  It is the infrastructure supporting any nonprofit activity.  Fund development discussions connect board, staff, and volunteers to the reality of the organizations reach and potential.  Including an additional fundraiser in a strategic or annual plan is great, but is there money to do it properly?

Everything a nonprofit does comes down to the following, like a three-legged stool, time, talent, and treasure (money).  Without all three elements there will be obstacles on the path to success.