Friday, June 29, 2007

CFO's announce the need to rise above the financials - but how?

In the following article "CFOs need to rise above the financials", Nic Paton discusses the research showing the need for CFO's to review the financial implications of their culture. Absotively's Integration assessment, "The CHI", continues to show it's value in this purpose.


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Unleashing the Power of People

A powerful article written by our strategic partner, author, internationally renowned speaker, and business consultant, Jack Lannom...

Unleashing the Power of People

As a business owner how many times have you asked yourself this question? “How can I make my business more successful?” And how many nights have you lied awake in your bed pondering this question? “What am I missing to take my business to the next level?” Many entrepreneurs have sought to answer their quires by turning to the outrageous success stories in thriving organizations such as Google, Southwest Airlines, and Starbucks. You will be surprised at what they discovered which is the Number 1# Secret for Business Success. Google, Southwest, and Starbucks GET IT!

I hope you are now engaged and you are asking,” What is it that they GET? You see even though Google, Southwest, and Starbucks are in totally different industries they all have one thing in common. They have worked very hard on creating outrageously engaged, charged-up, high-performance CULTURES. They GET IT! CULTURE is KING. Culture is the lead indicator of long-term success.

Let’s take Google as an example. This 8 year old company is making $10 Billion a year in revenue and they are worth about $125 Billion. After looking at those numbers anyone will have to say, they are definitely doing something right. How did Google do it, what was their secret to success? They figured it out early in their career that you can’t be a great company without developing a great culture. And they knew that culture is all about people. So they put people first by asking every employee what would make them happy. They believed that if they were to make people happy at work they would want to come to work (which would reduce the number of mental health days), and they would be more productive. In addition, Google would attract and retain the best people.

So what did Google do specifically to create one of the best business cultures on the planet? They began to survey their employees concerning what would make them happy at work. In their surveys they learned that many people wanted to bring their dogs to work, others wanted a full-time massage therapist to help relieve their physical pain and other employees wanted to go from room to room on their skate boards and enjoy volleyball and gourmet food.

Well guess what, every day at the 1.3 million-square foot headquarters in Mountain View, California every Google employee enjoys free gourmet food, the loving companionship of their animals, a massage, free laundry and an endless host of things to make them happy. It is no wonder that Google receives 13,000 applications a week from people all over the world seeking employment with such a great company that has learned to put people first.

What is the health of your culture? How engaged are your employees? The empirical data concerning workforce engagement is really terrible. The Gallup Group distributes a semi-annual Employee Engagement Index report; this is what their statistics state.

· 26% of employees are actively engaged in their jobs (loyal and productive)

· 55% are not-engaged (just putting in their time)

· 19% are actively disengaged (unhappy and spreading discontent)

According to Jim Collins author of the best selling book, Good to Great, you need to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right place on the bus. The Gallup Management Journal is telling us that there are about 74% of employees in many companies that need to GET OFF THE BUS!

The question for every business owner is how many people in your organization are fully engaged and they are actively engaging your customers? And if they are not engaged how do I create an engaged culture like Google, Southwest, and Starbucks.

There is good news for you entrepreneurs who are looking for help. There is a company in south Florida that specializes in providing organizational leaders with the latest, breakthrough business tools, to create outrageously engaged, charged-up, high-performance cultures. The name of the company is Lannom Inc. a Fort Lauderdale based corporation. They have been in business for 30 years and Jack Lannom is the CEO and founder. They have twenty people in their company; two of the twenty are psychologist. Five of them are professors at leading universities. Jack is an adjunct professor of leadership at Trinity International University.

Lannom Inc. has helped contribute to the success of many of the top corporate giants in America. The following is a partial list of companies that have hired them to transform their cultures: AT&T, Citibank, Caterpillar, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, UPS, Lexus, Sensormatic, Nortel Northern Telecom, San Diego Chargers, Knight Ridder Newspapers, The Miami Herald, Blockbuster, The Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Hospital and Ritz Carlton. H. Wayne Huizinga, the founder of Blockbuster Entertainment Corporation was so impressed with Jack Lannom’s talents, that he hired Jack to fly with him and his top business associates on his private jet to London. It was a nine hour flight and Jack taught his secrets for five of those hours to one of the most successful billionaires in the world. From the success of that flight Jack had his team begin working with Mr. Huizinga’s companies.

Jack Lannom is quite a success story. He has authored fifteen books and his latest book People First has won a national award. He is currently touring the nation lecturing at Barnes and Nobel stores on the People First philosophy. He will address 8,000 people in Moscow, Russia on September the 28th on his book People First. In addition, to his accomplishments, Jack wrote and hosted the first and longest running TV program on PBS on the MIND. His 13 hour series ran in the prime time spots for 11 consecutive years, teaching millions of people in the US and Mexico on how to tap their untapped mental potential. In 1998 Newsweek cited Jack for his work in America on the human mind.

In his spare time he trains the Marines at camp Lejune in Jacksonville, N.C. to prepare our soldiers for hand-to-hand combat in Iraqi. Jack is a master in the art of Walu Kung-Fu. He has black belts in 5 different styles of Kung-Fu and he has been practicing Kung-Fu for over 42 years.

Lannom Inc. has been working in southwest Florida for the past two years transforming many of your neighbors companies. See if you recognize any of these companies. J.L. Wallace, Inc., Royal Corinthian Homes, Riverside Bank, Cornerstone Kitchens, Northwestern Mutual, GCM Contracting Solutions, Inc. , Community Engineering Services, Inc. , Global Solutions Electronics Company, Gulf Coast Materials, Glory Homes Custom Builders, Ritz Carlton, Vitarich Labs and Teen Challenge.

John Moran, President of Gulf Coast, Riverside Bank passionately states, “Jack Lannom and People First are right on target with where Leadership needs to go…now. Leading with a people before profits mentality will lead to greater profits through an outstanding culture of trust by valuing the people that produce the profit. At Riverside Bank, we were delighted to have Jack and his team come in and teach us how to lead in a People First way and it is beginning to pay big dividends for our employees, customers and our shareholders.”

If you would like more information on how to create an outrageously engaged, charged-up, high-performance culture, to increase your profits, tap the potential of your people, attract and retain the best people and make the competition irrelevant then call Lannom Inc. at 954-445-2271 or . If you would like to hear one of Jacks’ $15,000 an hour presentations for free then mark your calendar for September 25, 2007 he will be speaking for the BIA at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point at 6:30pm-8:00pm

As a closing note listen to what Jack Canfield author of the New York Times Best-Sellers Chicken Soup for the Soul says about Jack Lannom’s awarding winning book People First. “If you are a leader, manager, coach, and parent, please read this book. People First contains priceless wisdom that will change your life.”

Absotively write-up in Arizona Republic

“Fight Like a Girl promotes self-defense”
The Arizona Republic
22 June, 2007: D2

Fighting like a girl may be considered a weakness.

Phoenix business owner Cory Kahabka thinks it is the best thing a woman can do.

Kahabka, president and co-owner of Absotively, which helps merging companies integrate, is a fourth-degree black belt in karate and teaches martial arts on weekends.

For the past two years, he also has been teaching Fight Like a Girl, a rape escape class that is based on the inherent strengths and reactions of women.

"We teach them to use their strength, and their strongest muscles are in their legs," he said. "So we teach them to lie on their back and use their legs in self-defense situations."

Kahabka said that when he was first introduced to Fight Like a Girl by Phoenix resident Brad Parker, who developed the class, Kahabka thought it was counterintuitive to tell women to lie on their backs because that is the position a rapist would want them to be in.

"But a woman's legs are her biggest weapon, and they are aimed right at the attacker," he said.

Kahabka said that if an attacker sees that a woman is going to put up a fight, he is more likely to back off.

Kahabka, one of several instructors of the class in the Valley and around the country, also teaches it sometimes as part of the women's driving safety course at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.

He counts 2006 Miss Arizona Hilary Griffith, a rape survivor, as one of his students.

Griffith was at an event where Kahabka demonstrated the technique and later enrolled in his 2 1/2-hour class.

"Women walk out after the class so empowered it isn't funny," he said. "It's incredible."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Is your company board breaking you?

What does your company board of directors actually do for your company? Boards are there to add value to your company. They are there to help guide the company through decisions and to help add value to the shareholders. However, many boards take "sitting on the board" to heart and sit on the board.

How do we get our boards to be an active and integral part of your company? ASK THEM! They're the only ones that can tell you how you can get them to perform at their peak performance and help guide your company.

As CEO, help your board realize their intrinsic value to the organization. Let them tell you why they are there. Let them tell you what they value and what value they bring.

The hard part in this process is to get them to tell you the truth. It's very easy to get the passive-aggressive answers from people. "Everything is great here, things couldn't be better." We recommend using an anonymous assessment to get to the truth within your board. I'm not talking about an "Employee Engagement" assessment. They measure engagement and engagement only.

The best thing to assess is the actual culture of the board. The only way to do this is to use a true Cultural Assessment. A true cultural assessment measures the levels of leadership, communication, relationships, change management, general climate, etc.

Luckily for the whole world (and especially you), we happen to have a very powerful Cultural Assessment tool at our disposal. It can be customized for your organization as a whole, or specifically for your board. As I said, let them tell you how they'll perform for you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The New Buzz Word, "Employee Engagement"

Every place I go, people are asking about employee engagement. "Do you have employee engagement in your company?" and "How do I get employee engagement?" They're looking for it like people will soon be looking for the new I-Phone on EBAY.

So, how do you get employee engagement? Wait, first of all, what IS employee engagement? Wikipedia defines it as: "Employee engagement is a concept that is generally viewed as managing discretionary effort, that is, when employees have choices, they will act in a way that furthers their organization's interests. An engaged employee is a person who is fully involved in, and enthusiastic about, his or her work." Simply put; do people WANT to do what you're having them do and at what level are they willing to work on it?

So, back to how you get it. Simple, don't force it, foster it. If you run around the hallways of your company with pom-poms yelling and screaming "Let's go team!", nobody is going to take you seriously. Obviously, enthusiasm on your part is an important ingredient in the process, but it has to be sincere. On the other hand, if you spend the first 2 hours of every work day playing Solitaire online against some 13 year old kid in Pakistan, people will notice. Good leaders don't ask other people to do things they wouldn't be willing to do themselves.

In one of our processes, "Cultural Jump Start" we define your company in terms of Code of Conduct, Core Values, Mission, and Vision statement. We start with defining each individual's own set of Core Values. Some execs say, "Why is this important? It's my company." It's important because these Core Values are built into and related to the company Core Values during the process. This way, people see the relationship between themselves and the company. They're not just a number, they actually helped define your company. They see themselves as an integral part of the organization. Their Core Values may not be identical to the organization, but they'll be able to see the similarities better than ever before.

I wish I could clone the manager in this article. He is naturally able to assess the level of employee engagement and assigns tasks accordingly. What better way to foster engagement but by letting it come to you?