Category Archives: Strategic Planning

unintended benefits of PPP money

Has anyone studied the actual uses of the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loans/forgiveness?

Because the pandemic totally devastated approximately 20% of the economy in sectors like travel, events, hotels and dining, it is hard to imagine how these industries have survived, or how the PPP money could have helped them for long. If they are still surviving, they are maybe 1/3 the size they had been before the pandemic. For them it has been tragic. Hopefully, they will come back as the economy reopens. >

Proceed as if….

This week’s events reinforce the pandemic’s severe impact on our country. If there ever was an illusion that this would go away by itself, or that testing without a distancing protocol and masks would be enough, that has been blown away by the super spreader event in the White House Rose Garden. We must proceed as if…… >

Think Systems

How often do you sigh when you contemplate a “kludgy” system that takes way too long to complete in your organization?

Maybe it is billing a client, or accounting for scrap or completing then documenting a performance review. You don’t even want to start because it takes way too long to complete. Think systems. How can this system be improved or eliminated?

There is no time like the “Pandemic Present” to address those annoying and inefficient processes that you said you would fix one day.

Can’t think of any? Ask your team “What are the top 3 things that if we fixed them, would make your life and the life of the team happier and more efficient?” Pick a super scribe, or start voice recording on your phone cause the suggestions are likely to come in fast and furious.

Put the ideas in 3 columns:

1. easy or cheap to fix,

2 complicated/costly but really beneficial, and

3 everything else.

Put column 3 on the back burner but don’t throw it away.

Assign column 1 out to project champions. Give them a budget and a due date.

Column 2 is where you need to focus. Have your group vote on their top 3 picks. Vistage speaker Bob Roitblat recommends ratings the ideas in 3 areas: strategic value, customer value and business value. Once you add up the scores, you may find that you pick a different project than you would have predicted because it scores in all 3 areas. Be realistic about how many you can do at once, but begin one right away. If it works, the team will get excited about tackling another one.

When we finally come out of this pandemic and its economic fallout, we don’t want to have regrets that we didn’t clear out the kludgy systems, when we had the time to do it. A year from now you will be grateful – if not sooner.


Photo of a street in Hanoi, Vietnam, by Paul Dye.

Communicating, really?

A random comment caught me off guard last week. A senior executive said that their executive team brought in a facilitator and set goals for 2019 and he had real clarity as to what his role would be going forward. Here is what surprised me: He said that in all the time he had worked for the organization it was the first time he had clear goals. Is this team communicating, really? >

Innovating much?

You get a hint that a competitor has solved a problem your customers have grumbled about. Or, you dismiss an investment that your sales team suggested as not necessary. Or, your team suggests you should be quicker to market and you list all the obstacles getting in the way. Are you innovating much? Or, are you just tired…..


Leadership Style?

In a crisis, we look to a firefighter to lead us. In a process or profit maximization, we look for a steady analytic type. Which are you? For your organization, do you have the right leadership style?– It depends on the challenges you are facing. >

Imagine no internet

Close your eyes and imagine a world with no internet. Not only no Facebook which most working folks can remember, but no email, no google, no Wikipedia, no on line marketing, etc. For most baby boomers, this is not a question of imaging, it is a question of remembering. Would you want to go back? >