Category Archives: Strategic Planning
Business Opportunity Ideas – How to Be a Businessman like Ray Kroc (McDonald’s)
Evan Carmichael discusses how you can find your next big business opportunity like Ray Kroc from McDonald’s, one of the most recognized companies in the world.
“Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.” – Ray Kroc
Raymond “Ray” Albert Kroc (October 5, 1902 — January 14, 1984) was a Czech American businessman who took over the small-scale McDonald’s Corporation franchise in 1954 and built it into the most successful fast food operation in the world. Kroc was included in Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, and amassed a $500 million fortune during his lifetime.
Action Item #1: Always Be On The Lookout For Opportunities
Most entrepreneurs don’t end up being successful with the product or service that they start with. There are always tweaks and changes that will happen once you start talking to customers and they tell you what they want. Your prospects and customers will lead you to many potential opportunities to grow your business – the key is to jump on those opportunities and take action.
In Ray Kroc’s own words: “The two most important requirements for major success are: first, being in the right place at the right time, and second, doing something about it.”
Kroc started out as a salesman for paper cups and his customers twice brought him to new business opportunities that he acted on. Sometimes this can mean selling a completely different product or service than you were offering before. Look at your current customers – are there hidden business opportunities you can develop with them or improvements to what you currently sell that can bring them more value and put more money in your bank account? If you’re always on the lookout for new opportunities to grow your business you will eventually find the one you can hit a home run with.
Action Item #2: You’re Only As Good As The People You Hire
As your business grows beyond yourself you’ll realize the importance of having a good team. They are the ones representing your company, making decisions every day, and talking to your customers. Having a good staff will make or break your ability to build a successful company beyond yourself.
To make sure he had the best team possible in the early stages of the business, Ray Kroc personally took charge of the entire hiring process. Once he had made the decision to bring someone on board the McDonald’s team, Kroc would give each and every one of them a badge with the title of Management Trainee. It didn’t matter what their actual job was; Kroc wanted every employee to feel valuable and like an important part of the team. Kroc would then tell his workers to think of a better way to do their job or of any improvements that could be made in customer service, which could then be written down and placed into a Suggestion Box. The Suggestion Box led to countless successes like the Happy Meal, Filet-o-Fish, Big Mac, Hot Apple Pie, and Egg McMuffin.
When you hire a new employee make them feel like they are an important part of your team. Encourage their suggestions on how the business could be run better, create opportunities for them to advance, and let them know that you value their contributions. A loyal and hardworking team will reward you with outstanding business results.
Action Item #3: Be A Part Of Your Community
Ray Kroc launched a number of initiatives to help build the communities around each McDonald’s restaurant. First off he insisted that his franchise operators lived in the communities where they worked. He also hired regional advertising agencies so they could work “on the ground” and organize grand openings, birthday parties, and community programs. Finally he believed in community involvement through charities and the company continues to give back to this day as part of its corporate philosophy.
You don’t have to run a restaurant to be involved in your community. Just think about the people you sell to and where they hang out. Can you get involved in making their lives easier and better? It’s a longer term strategy but an extremely profitable one if you can win the hearts and minds of your customers by giving back.
Tom Deans Understands Family Business Relationships
Lugen Family Office is proud to select Tom Deans as the LFO 2013 Speaker of the Year Award Winner! Congrats Tom and keep up the great work.
Dr. Thomas William Deans is the author of the all-time best-selling family business book, Every Family’s Business: 12 Common Sense Questions to Protect Your Wealth.
He now speaks on the international lecture circuit full time. Having delivered more than 500 speeches, he has built a reputation as a thought leader on the subject of intergenerational wealth transfer.
His lectures and books argue that family has emerged as the greatest economic driver of all time. But the question remains: How can wealth be transferred successfully without destroying the recipient and the wealth itself?
It is a question for the times, as the greatest generation of wealth creators move toward death in record numbers. Deans explores the idea that communication is crucial to the success of that transfer, and indeed to the success of individuals, families and communities.
The idea to write Willing Wisdom came from Tom watching his mother’s parents die. One death – his grandfather’s – was comparatively quick. His grandmother’s was a long and slow ten-year decline. Despite the significant wealth his grandparents left for family and charity, it is the conversations they shared that Tom thought about the most many years later.
In the end, when it came down to their last breaths, only the care provided by Tom’s parents, not money or even the promise of money, could purchase the dignified death each experienced.
Tom is not sure when he first became curious about why our culture has lost its inquisitiveness about death and dying, but he does know, having delivered his keynote speech on transitioning family wealth to tens of thousands of people around the world, that this trend is worsening.
We live in a culture that is in awe of wealth and all that it can provide. We also live in a culture that finds it difficult to talk about and contemplate death. The two are inextricably connected.
Tom starts conversations, but rarely does he finish them, leaving that to readers and their families, friends and trusted advisors.
Willing Wisdom represents a return to the subject of his doctoral research, conducted in the US, Canada and the UK and first published in Charities and Government by Manchester University Press.
Tom lives in a forest in the beautiful Hockley Valley in Ontario, Canada, with his wife, two children and five dogs.
John Mackey on Whole Foods, Conscious Capitalism, and Life Beyond the Profit Motive
“I think the critics of capitalism have got it in this very small box – that it’s all about money,” explains John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods. “And yet, I haven’t found it be that way. I’ve known hundreds of entrepreneurs and with very few exceptions most of them did not start their businesses primarily to make money.”
In “Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business,” Mackey and his co-author, Raj Sisodia, make a case that businesses are at their best when reaching for a higher purpose that ranges far beyond any simplistic notions of the profit motive or self-interest.
Reason’s Nick Gillespie sat down with Mackey to discuss his new book, the success of Whole Foods, the growing burden of government on day-to-day life, and how the Austin-based entrepreneur came to appreciate what he calls “the heroic spirit of business.”
On the evening of February 12, 2009, a Continental Connection commuter flight made its way through blustery weather between Newark, New Jersey, and Buffalo, New York. As is typical of commercial flights today, the pilots didn’t have all that much to do during the hour-long trip. The captain, Marvin Renslow, manned the controls briefly during takeoff, guiding the Bombardier Q400 turboprop into the air, then switched on the autopilot and let the software do the flying. He and his co-pilot, Rebecca Shaw, chatted—about their families, their careers, the personalities of air-traffic controllers—as the plane cruised uneventfully along its northwesterly route at 16,000 feet. The Q400 was well into its approach to the Buffalo airport, its landing gear down, its wing flaps out, when the pilot’s control yoke began to shudder noisily, a signal that the plane was losing lift and risked going into an aerodynamic stall. The autopilot disconnected, and the captain took over the controls. He reacted quickly, but he did precisely the wrong thing: he jerked back on the yoke, lifting the plane’s nose and reducing its airspeed, instead of pushing the yoke forward to gain velocity. Rather than preventing a stall, Renslow’s action caused one. The plane spun out of control, then plummeted. “We’re down,” the captain said, just before the Q400 slammed into a house in a Buffalo suburb.
The crash, which killed all 49 people on board as well as one person on the ground, should never have happened. A National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that the cause of the accident was pilot error. The captain’s response to the stall warning, the investigators reported, “should have been automatic, but his improper flight control inputs were inconsistent with his training” and instead revealed “startle and confusion.” An executive from the company that operated the flight, the regional carrier Colgan Air, admitted that the pilots seemed to lack “situational awareness” as the emergency unfolded.
The Buffalo crash was not an isolated incident. An eerily similar disaster, with far more casualties, occurred a few months later. On the night of May 31, an Air France Airbus A330 took off from Rio de Janeiro, bound for Paris. The jumbo jet ran into a storm over the Atlantic about three hours after takeoff. Its air-speed sensors, coated with ice, began giving faulty readings, causing the autopilot to disengage. Bewildered, the pilot flying the plane, Pierre-Cédric Bonin, yanked back on the stick. The plane rose and a stall warning sounded, but he continued to pull back heedlessly. As the plane climbed sharply, it lost velocity. The airspeed sensors began working again, providing the crew with accurate numbers. Yet Bonin continued to slow the plane. The jet stalled and began to fall. If he had simply let go of the control, the A330 would likely have righted itself. But he didn’t. The plane dropped 35,000 feet in three minutes before hitting the ocean. All 228 passengers and crew members died.
Read more. [Image: Kyle Bean]
Harvard Business Review: #1 Key to Motivation
In a multi-year study, researchers at the Harvard Business School first asked 600 managers from dozens of different companies to rank the impact of five factors that are normally associated with motivation – recognition, incentives, support from managers and colleagues, clear goals and a sense of making progress. In this first phase of the study, recognition for good work was ranked by managers as the most important factor in motivation.
There Are Some Fates Worse Than Death: Mike Drowley
Lieutenant Colonel Mike Drowley “Johnny Bravo” is Commander, 66th Weapons Squadron. He is a US Air Force Weapons School graduate and command A-10 pilot with multiple combat tours. Prior to his current position he was the Commander of Cadet Squadron 15 at the US Air Force Academy.
Truly human leadership: Bob Chapman
Robert Chapman is chairman and CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Companies, Inc., a $1.5 billion global manufacturer of capital equipment and provider of engineering consulting. Under Chapman’s leadership, Barry-Wehmiller has used strategic acquisitions and organic growth to achieve a 20% compound growth rate during the past 20 years. At the heart of its successful economic model, however, are more than 7000 outstanding team members worldwide. The company prides itself and is fiercely committed to building great people through its distinctive people-centric leadership initiatives and innovative learning institute, Barry-Wehmiller University.The 127-year-old company was named one of the Best Places to Work in St. Louis because of its programs in leadership and motivation.
Jason Fried: Why work doesn’t happen at work
Jason Fried has a radical theory of working: that the office isn’t a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest he lays out the main problems (call them the M&Ms) and offers three suggestions to make work work.
Brian Klapper: “The Q-Loop”
The business environment has never been more fast-paced and competitive. Survival, let alone success, depends on an organization’s ability to recognize possibilities, innovate, implement change, and sustain that transformation. Yet a paradox exists. How does an established organization filled with long-time employees, a deeply entrenched culture, and a history of drawn-out planning and development cycles become nimble, innovative, and responsive? In The Q-Loop Brian Klapper reveals the “art and science” of lasting transformation based on a proven, repeatable model. Learn how to unlock the potential of your organization’s collective intelligence to create buy-in from top to bottom. The Q-Loop extracts the deep knowledge that resides with front line employees, breaks down their inherent resistance to change, and converts them into passionate advocates who are fully invested in leading the organization to achieve transformational results.
About the Speaker: Brian is the President and Founding Partner of The Klapper Institute. He is an internationally recognized expert in transformational change, working with a variety of global companies in financial services, consumer products, manufacturing, food service, utilities, retail, and healthcare. His experience spans all elements of the value chain, as well as all customer touchpoints. A recognized thought leader, Brian is currently working on a new book that provides insights on the complex cultural and operational issues that companies must address to achieve and sustain transformational change.
Before founding The Klapper Institute, Brian was the President of The Tatham Group, a boutique process redesign firm. Previously, he was a Partner at Mercer Management Consulting (formerly Strategic Planning Associates, now Oliver Wyman) focusing on strategy development and operational transformation.
Confessions of a Futurist: Sheryl Connelly
Sheryl Connelly is manager of global trends and futuring for Ford Motor Company, tracking shifts and trends in topics as far reaching as the environment, politics and millennials and analyzing those shifts to predict consumer preferences. Her insights inform the company’s automotive design, product development and corporate strategy and help anticipate the needs and desires of car buyers. Sheryl, a licensed attorney with an M.B.A. and a bachelor’s degree in finance, also teaches design research at the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI. She has guest lectured at Massachusetts Institute for Technology, University of Michigan, and Wharton School of Business. She has also been featured in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, Financial Times and on the BBC.