Blue’s Clues Lead To Business Success
Many companies are failing to live up to their full potential because they have abandoned childlike values, according to Diane Tracy, whose book makes a compelling case for the success potential of the values-driven corporation. Blue’s Clues For Success: The Eight Secrets Behind A Phenomenal Business explores the extraordinary success of the Nickelodeon children’s show and says its lessons can be applied to all businesses.
What are Blue’s Clues For Success? The book offers the following answers:
Clue #1: A clear and powerful mission provides the focus for mobilizing the energy of your people. If it is one they can believe in, you can win their hearts as well as their minds.
Clue #2: When you know your customer, love your customer, and keep him or her the focus of everything you do, you won’t have to worry about the competition. You will be in a class of your own.
Clue #3: When you use research for the basis of your decision making, you will be able to meet the needs of your customer with amazing precision.
Clue #4: When you are the master of your technology and use it creatively to accomplish your business objectives, it can empower you to do things for your customer that no one else has done.
Clue #5: Effective work processes are the key to quality, high performance and efficiency.
Clue #6: When you are crystal clear about who and what you want to be in the mind of your customer, and you manage every detail of your business so that customers see you as being in a class of your own, you will have branded your product.
Clue #7: Success comes when the leadership of your organization truly cares about people, when they consistently model the values and behaviors they want from others, when they treat people with respect and meet their work needs.
Clue #8: The culture of your organization is the environment in which people live. If it is a healthy environment – if it is one that the leaders plan for and manage carefully – the people will flourish and so will the business.
“Glad to Live in Nevada” Dept.
Despite rumblings about the state’s budget crisis and the generally slow economy, Nevadans are still better off than many of their neighbors, according to quotes garnered from the Western Blue Chip Economic Forecast, which surveys economic experts in the Western states. Here is a sampling of their comments in the December 2002 edition:
Southern California: “Manufacturing and an underperforming tourism sector continue to be a drag on the economy.”
Oregon: “The Oregon economy hit bottom at the start of this year. It’s still there. If Oregon is in recovery, then it is very much a jobless recovery.”
Denver: “Building permits in metro Denver have fallen sharply versus a year ago, with much of the weakness in the multi-family area.”
California: “The low levels of housing construction in California, together with the ambivalence of many communities about providing more housing, are creating a growing threat to economic prosperity, quality of life and equity in California’s regions.”
Colorado: “The Colorado economy continues to slow. Commercial contractors tell me their new motto is, ‘Survive till ’05.’”
Technology Trumps Face Time
In today’s fast-paced corporate world, why convene in person when you can hit the “send” key? In a recent survey of executives sponsored by staffing firm Accountemps, 92 percent of respondents said managers often send an e-mail message rather than meet one-on-one. The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and included responses from 150 executives with the nation’s 1,000 largest companies.
Executives were asked,
“In your opinion, how often do managers use e-mail messages as a substitute for face-to-face communications?”
|Not very often||
Executives also were asked,
“Aside from face-to-face communication, which of the following is the most effective way to communicate with employees?”
“For busy managers, e-mail is the next best thing to meeting in person,” said Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps. But while this form of communication is efficient, Messmer cautions against using it exclusively. “Face-to-face meetings reduce the potential for miscommunication, allowing individuals to share ideas and feedback with the benefit of vocal inflections, facial expressions and body language.”
Messmer advises managers to choose the medium appropriate for the message. “If the topic will involve debate or requires reaching a group consensus, arrange a meeting or conference call to address the matter,” he said. “For one-way communication or inquiries requiring little discussion, e-mail may be the most effective and timely vehicle.”
Being Proactive with Privacy
Recent studies show that identity theft is costing North American businesses up to $12 billion annually, making it one of the fastest-growing segments of financial crime. Shred-it, an onsite shredding and recycling company, provides the following tips for preventing identity theft:
Limit the information you collect from customers and employees to only what’s actually required.
Provide a secure workplace. Lock personnel files and other sensitive documents.
Carefully destroy unnecessary documents, computer tapes and CDs, especially those with sensitive or identifying information. A crosscut paper shredder is essential, or outsource shredding to a reliable third party.
Train employees to be conscientious about confidentiality. Don’t make personal information available on unattended computer screens, files or documents.
Since mail can be stolen, limit the amount of personal information in customer mailings, both inside and outside the envelope.
Use technology that protects databases from hackers, and encrypt all online data transmission.
Don’t use Social Security numbers as clients’ account numbers.