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Strategic Discipline Blog


Posted by Douglas A Wick on Tue, Mar 4, 2008

How you and your people react to a stressful situation or emergency in your business can be very unpredictable and disarming. Yesterday one of my clients had their vendor change their software programs which is the link between their customers and their business. Being in the business of handling stock transactions this was a critical issue for them and they spent months preparing for it to make sure it went smoothly. Unfortunately through no part of my clients' neglect or care the system didn’t measure up to the expectations. On Monday my client offered that on a scale of one to ten, with one being a disastrous melt down of apocalyptic proportions to ten being flawless, the transition was about a three.

Needless to say there were lots of unhappy clients and stress rained down on my client's staff which had done everything they could to prepare and in many cases alerted their vendor to the possible obstacles they were going to face on the day they made the transition.

While it was an extremely difficult and tiring day for my client's people, the next day bright and early at 7:30 AM they were back at it holding their daily huddle and immediately discussing the issues that were still unresolved, those that had been resolved and what steps they could take to diminish the damages for any issues that had occurred and possibly might still affect performance with their customers. Scott, the business owner, had been impressed with his team’s performance the day before and how resilient they were during the events. What he realized as he watched his group interact in their daily huddle this morning was how well they communicated and how quickly they got down to business, solving the issues rather than pointing fingers and venting about their frustrations. They were all business focused on resolving and mediating the problems.

Six months ago Scott feels he would have seen a whole different scenario.   After just a couple of months of doing daily huddles he feels it was the biggest difference maker in helping his staff focus on issues, communicate best and develop a plan quickly to take to customers to inform and mediate any issues that had caused them concern. They immediately sent out a memo to their clients dealing with the 6-7 issues that gave notice to their clients the steps that were being taken or had been completed to prevent the lingering effects of the previous day.

Scott offered that it’s not dissimilar to someone discovering they have car problems and they have to run or walk a mile to the nearest relief location. If you’ve spent the past year or six months running or walking, training to be in shape, the mile you are facing will not be an obstacle. You will be prepared. 

The daily huddle provides the discipline for better communication. It offers many benefits to helping you operate your business better, however most of us don’t know when an emergency or challenging situation will emerge in our business. At those times, wouldn’t it be a comfort to know that your people will not only rise to the occasion, but perform at a very high level, communicating efficiently so that even in the worst circumstances you have confidence you can emerge successfully?

Topics: Obstacles

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Doug Wick, President

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The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
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- Meeting Rhythms

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