I recently received an email from a new vendor telling me they were going to miss an appointment. I couldn’t have been happier.

Not the usual response, is it? The vendor was making a schedule change for all clients due to weather conditions. They informed me of the action they were going to take so we could be on the same page for a common goal.

I terminated their predecessor because they didn’t communicate, weren’t proactive, and didn’t do a good job. As I onboarded the new vendor, we discussed my expectations and asked how they provide their services. We had a mutual understanding from the beginning.

This got me thinking of company culture. There are many articles and blogs currently about culture in light of work from home (WFH). People worry that culture won’t be maintained.

I disagree with that view. Vision and values are the first components of culture. Those should be firmly entrenched in the minds of the team and the company DNA.

Just as important are the expectations of how you work together, desired results, and processes. These should be known throughout the organization too.

The real change with WFH then is how you communicate and interact using technology rather than in person. You can’t just drop in at a co-worker’s office or go to lunch together. Maybe new expectations need to be set and identified or done differently. (Virtual lunch on Zoom or Teams?) Managers and teams can work on this together as new behaviors are learned and tested.

I challenge leaders to make sure their vision, values, and expectations are clearly known. Ensure your strategy is still relevant. Make adjustments so your tools and processes maximize your efficiency and output. These steps will go a long way toward maintaining your culture in the midst of change.

Make sure your culture drives decisions and behavior regardless of how your team works.  If you need help, you can CONTACT US  or find us at LinkedIn.

There is a huge difference between possessing and being able to use tools effectively.

One of my friends bought a new set of golf clubs. This is nothing new – he does that every couple of years. It prompted a mutual friend to sarcastically comment, “you have the best golf game money can buy.”

The point he was making is that having the latest and greatest equipment is just one part of the road to success.

I understand the attraction. I like to fish. Some basic equipment is required to start and having a selection of lures or rods can legitimately make a difference in the final outcome. But at some point using them correctly is more important than having more options. The new shiny object or technique reels us in – pardon the pun. The promise is alluring.

Having the right tools can make all the difference in the world. They can save time and produce much better results than not. But just having the tools does not guarantee success. This is where patience and wisdom come into play.

Learning how to wield a tool, be it a golf club or a circle hook, is vital. You must be patient, learn how and when to use it, and give it time for it to become effective for you. If you don’t, you are wasting your money and possibly getting worse results than you would otherwise.

Our businesses are the same. There is a constant flow of new management theories, fads, software programs, and other shiny new objects that promise to save time, generate revenue, or simplify business. But you have to master the basics, understand when and how to use these new tools, and employ the right ones for your specific situation. Just like in golf or fishing, you may need to hire a coach or a guide to help you get the best results.

If your business is struggling to select and use tools effectively or you need help in general, CONTACT US here or find us on LinkedIn.

Fractional COOs are the Swiss Army knives of the fractional executive world.

“Operations” means different things to everyone and each industry. Because every client has different needs, we must have lots of tools at our disposal. We also have to be flexible in scope and deliverables.

Some business owners need to delegate tasks they don’t like or others can do better.   Others need help bringing more order or taming chaos.  Some need to update their org chart and make sure they have the right people in the right seats.

All those situations require different skill sets and different tools – and knowing how and when to use them.

That’s the beauty of fractional COO work – taking tools, systems, and learning from a variety of companies and industries and applying them in new situations. It’s about making work and life better for the business owners we serve.

A day in the life of a fractional COO is never boring. It’s nothing to go from a staff meeting where I am responsible for driving accountability to helping improve a customer process, then researching back office software solutions before leading a project meeting. Throw in a strategic planning session, reviewing and editing policies or agreements, running point on administrative tasks, reviewing KPIs and financials, and top it off with a coaching session for a manager or new operations leader.

And the next day or week will look completely different!

The bottom line is that a fractional COO’s job is to make things better, simplify the complex, improve results, and ultimately give business owners more time or peace of mind.

If you’re a business owner and want to free up your time so you can do what you do best and grow your business, connect with us at LinkedIn or CONTACT US here.  Maybe we have a “Swiss Army knife” set of tools that can help you.