MY GREENER FUTURE BUSINESS DIGEST: DOWNSIZING/RIGHTSIZING

Posted on: January 20th, 2012 by
Comments Disabled

WHAT BUSINESSES NEED TO DO WHEN DOWNSIZING OR RIGHT-SIZING

by Bill Kaufmann, President, My Greener Future

 

Faced with strategy decisions? There’s real value in seeking objective input!

 

Firms like yours (with fewer than 500 employees) make up the “backbone” of our nation’s businesses.  Yet services that provide a high level of personalized help is hard for the business owner to find.

NOW, YOU DON’T NEED TO MAKE THE TOUGH DECISIONS ALONE!

My Greener Future Business Services is designed to support the small business owner with cost-effective approaches every step of the way, including:

Consulting/Coaching: (From turn-around to accelerated growth)

  • We will review with you, your business plans and strategies
  • Identify the most effective revenue drivers or cost reduction alternatives
  • Integrate your business and staffing needs over the next 3, 6 & 12 months

Support affected employees with performance improvement or job search skills

  • Identify required staffing levels for the next 12 months, and training needs
  • Develop steps to train all retained or displaced employees to succeed
  • Prepare individual employee packages that address all aspects of separation

(Programs may include financial, benefits, state/federal assistance programs)

Put Your Plan into Action

  • Plan & conduct effective staff announcements (Why, When & Next Steps)
  • Personal meetings with affected employees (Support for retained employees and details of individual severance packages)
  • Ongoing positive communications with retained employees and support for revered employees.

Organizing in the “right way” involves good decision making, treating affected employees with the dignity and consideration they deserve, while moving the business forward. At My Greener Future Business Services we have over 40 years of experience, skill and knowledge to help you make the best business decisions for the future.

Call now for a free consultation and we will explain how we can help – no obligation, just objective input!

Contact Bill Kaufmann, President, My Greener Future at 757-220-0774


UNIVERSAL Q & A’s WITHIN AN INTERVIEW

Posted on: January 17th, 2012 by
Comments Disabled

By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

There’s a universal pattern to interview questions and answers.  Understanding what they are and how to use them effectively to your benefit can result in a more powerful outcome.

First, from THE INTERVIEWER’s perspective:  The job of the interviewer is two-fold:  To extract as much key information as possible and to establish a constructive relationship with the applicant.  In your resume, questions like “Where, when and by whom were you employed?” are already identified in your resume.  It then comes down to three universal questions:

  1.  “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”
  2. “HOW DID YOU DO IT?”
  3. “WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?”

The interviewer wants to find out if you are up to the task for the job opening.  The objective of the interviewer is to identify similar experiences that parallel the job opening.  The perfect candidate is one who has already done the job successfully somewhere else and can then transfer that success to the open position, while fitting into the culture.  The greater the overlap, the better your chances.

When an interviewer asks a question like, “Tell me about the marketing strategy you developed”, they are really saying, “We have a similar situation and we need someone to show us how to do it”.  Every question has a rationale behind it.  You need to understand the question in the context of the job opening.  This is usually achieved through prior research and cues from the interviewer.

Now from THE INTERVIEWEE’s perspective:  Your role is an easy one:  To relay stories about your past experiences in a way that intertwines with the requirements of the open position.  The way you deliver that information is the key, not only in the content but also in your execution.

The universal answers should follow this pattern:

 1.    STATE THE ISSUE: Example: “The issue we were assigned to resolve was x, y, z”

 2.    IDENTIFY THE ACTION:  Example: “We formed cross-functional teams, with me in the lead, and analyzed x, y, z against a, b, c, to find the critical points of differentiation”

  3.    DEFINE THE RESULTS:  Example:  “Resulted in 12% more revenue over 18 months…”

Since you already know what the questions will be about your background and experiences, you can formulate and practice your answers beforehand through “mini-pitches”.  A mini-pitch is a well-practiced response in 20 to 30 seconds to questions you know will be asked of you.   

In this way your responses are targeted, then presented in a logical and understandable sequence.  Your answers demonstrate a businessperson, with competence in your functional area of expertise. Continually practice your mini-pitches to produce maximum command of the material.

With this approach, you now have an edge in the interviewing process.  That’s an advantage in this competitive world.

Take control of your destiny.  Be a candidate rather an applicant.  Join us at My Greener Future.

Our website:  Mygreenerfuture.com

Email:  Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net


VISIONARIES ,TRANSLATORS and IMPLEMENTORS

Posted on: January 11th, 2012 by
Comments Disabled

By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

Every organization has 3 kinds of people:  Visionaries, Translators, and Implementers.  Where they are in the organization and how they interact with you is critical to your job search.

First, a definition:

  • Visionaries see over the horizon and set the direction of the unit or organization
  • Translators interpret the vision and develop strategies to accomplish the unit’s objectives
  • Implementers execute the actions necessary to achieve the results

Each one of these elements is within us, albeit at varying degrees and ability.  It’s a question of identifying the more dominant ones.  If you could rate yourself in each of these elements, what would be the percent distribution? A 10% visionary?  A 20% translator? With a 70% implementer?  Or would it be 50/25/25?  Or maybe even 10/50/40?  No combination is good or bad, but helpful to know.  The question is what’s your combination and how it effectively fits with your boss and peers?

What’s the best combination for you to function most effectively?  Sometimes if your boss is a visionary, a translator might be needed.  If your boss is a translator, an implementer could be best. Or sometimes a visionary may want another visionary on staff as a sounding board.  There is no “one size fits all”, but understanding how you function within your environment is critical.

The best Visionary is at or near the top of a unit.  It’s difficult to provide vision from the bottom.

Translators take the vision and evolve it into operational strategies.  They are the ones who determine the actions that need to take place within their functional responsibilities.  The Translators then integrate all of the pieces into a coherent whole.

The Implementers are just that…  those who execute the strategies into results for the success of the enterprise.  They are the “doers” of the organization, executing the strategies to accomplish the vision.  Without excellent implementers, the best vision in the world is useless.

Assess your current organization. Who does what?  Where do you fit in?  How do you best function?  Now assess your potential boss:  A visionary, translator or implementer?  If you report to different types of bosses, will it affect your performance?  You bet!!  If you are primarily a visionary/translator you will have a great deal of difficulty if you are forced into a pure implementer’s role.

So, if I was interviewing you for a position, I’d be looking at the level that you’ll be performing, plus look at your potential to perform in these different roles. The most difficult jump for people to make is moving from an Implementer role to a Translator role.  I’m sure you know of cases where an excellent salesperson (Implementer) who becomes a less than satisfactory sales manager (Translator) because their skill sets are mismatched with the expectations.

Neither one of these elements is better than the other.  It’s a question of matching and balancing these elements to achieve the objectives of the organization.

Take control of your destiny.  Be a candidate rather an applicant.  Join us at My Greener Future.

Our website:  Mygreenerfuture.com

Email:  Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net


MY GREENER FUTURE – BUSINESS SERVICES

Posted on: January 10th, 2012 by
Comments Disabled


CAREER MOVES: LEVERAGE WITH THE HIRING MANAGER

Posted on: January 4th, 2012 by
Comments Disabled

By Bill Kaufmann, President of My Greener Future

So far you have followed the “My Greener Future” strategies in GETTING HIRED that brings you to an interview with the hiring manager.  We have covered:

  • An analysis and history of your results leading to a targeted direction
  • A Career Map that defines where you need to be, when, to reach your goals
  • Research “next step” opportunities into the marketplace
  • A compelling resume to position your candidacy
  • Effectively handling the initial telephone interview
  • Using the “secret weapon” of the mini-pitch in your interviews

Now is the time to convert your effective mini-pitches into an engaging discussion with the hiring manager.  This conversion happens by shifting the emphasis from your positive results of the past, to potential successful strategies for the future.  This is accomplished by focusing on alternative solutions of issues within the open position for which you are interviewing.  Whoever can engage the hiring manager in discussing potential solutions to the issues of the organization, with alternatives and/or potential strategies, will usually win the job.

How do you accomplish that transition?  Connect the results and solutions you have experienced in similar past situations to the issues facing the hiring manager.  Here are a few steps:

  1. During the interview, as you respond to questions using mini-pitches (the issue, the action, the results), the hiring manager will ask follow-up questions like, “How did customers respond?”, or “How long before results were achieved?”, or “How did you get senior management buy-in?”.  Whatever the question, it gives you insight as to the real issues of the hiring manager.  No question is irrelevant!  Any and all questions will be directly related to what the hiring manager is looking for in the “ideal” candidate.  You just have to listen.
  2. Respond to the follow-up questions with insights of the process you went through that may be helpful to the hiring manager.  The “interview” will now evolve into a “discussion” of potential strategies.  Possible discussion items may include:
    1. Alternatives that were considered
    2. The pro’s and con’s of each alternative
    3. The implications if implemented
    4. The resources required and the cost/benefit analysis
    5. Tighten up the discussion of strategies to provide solutions to specific issues of the hiring manager.  You might want to say, “A number of these alternatives may be applied to your situation.  Would it be helpful for me to give you more details to those you find particularly attractive?”  If the answer is “yes”, you know you have made an impression.  Now is the time to shine.  Your supportive and consultative candidacy will rise to the top.

The reason a mini-pitch takes between 20 and 30 seconds is to allow time enough for the follow-up questions from the hiring manager.  If you assume your interview as a candidate will take about an hour or so, you need to make sure you have enough time at the end of the interview to begin the discussion about strategies to potentially resolve current issues.

An objective of the interview is to guide the discussion to your advantage. Your task is to link your answers to the hiring manager’s issues, so you are perceived as part of the solution.

Take control of your destiny.  Be a candidate rather an applicant.  Join us at My Greener Future.

Our website:  Mygreenerfuture.com

Email:  Mygreenerfuture1@cox.net