First the Good News!
At the age of twenty nine years old I had just guided our Fortune 500 Los Angeles branch into the Number 1 spot in sales after a three year journey that began in last place. After a week of celebrating, I was offered a promotion to become the youngest divisional manager in the company. I jumped at the Opportunity and off to conquer Cincinnati I went!
Then the Bad News!
A week after the romance was over, the reality of the challenge was only just beginning to be understood. The division was in dead last in sales and productivity and morale was even below that! The operations, sales, warehouse and merchandise managers hated the union personnel. The union personnel hated management and the administrative personnel. The administrative personnel hated the sales representatives. The sales representatives blamed everyone for their lack of sales. The Clients trusted our Competition!
A Complex Business Model of Fundamentals!
We called for a company wide meeting the following Saturday to discover, understand and share the frustrations, challenges and ambitions of all eighty five team members. My first question to the group after welcoming them to the meeting was:
“With sales being projected to hit $487,500 – What do you think our Income will be at the end of the month?”
- The first answer was $617,000! ( I secretly thought to myself – "How can income exceed sales?")
- The second answer was $525,000! ( Again, I was in a state of disbelief!)
- The lowest answer was around $350,000! ( A 70% profit was the lowest guess!)
My respect for people has always been my greatest source of achievement and this was not going to be any different!
I compared them all to CEO’s and CFO’s of their families before they came to the meeting today and began to provide real financial situations in their own life they could relate to – How their paycheck was similar to the companies sales and how from that they spent money on rent, food, gas, clothing, education entertainment and if lucky, savings. Once given the experience, knowledge, guidance and resources, I then shared the company's sales and expenses and they realized for the first time that company was actually losing money every month.
Then the Solution!
We formed 14 teams with 6 people each, from different areas of responsibility so as to achieve diversity, collaboration and understanding between inside, outside, union, management and corporate resources. For the team that recommended the most innovative and total number of ideas to achieve success we announced a prize of 10 shares of company stock worth about $400.00 each, and to the individual on the remaining teams who achieved the most was given the same prize! To make a long story shorter – Our team generated a total of 396 new ideas in just two weeks covering fundamental initiative in Sales, Marketing, Operations, Technology, Leadership, Finance and HR.
Then the Results!
Within only four months – our division moved into Number 1 in the country for productivity and we celebrated at a Cincinnati Reds game with 85 Innovators and their families.
Then the Principles!
To this day we come along side business executives, owners and managers with the Experience, Knowledge, Guidance and Resources to dramatically impact the performance of every company we invest our services in!
“We Build a Logical Path to Follow That’s Profitable to Pursue!”