Tag Archives: cost

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pressure decisions

Pressure Decisions Often Result in Costly Outcomes

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Do you make pressure decisions? Those that are hurried while being supported and cheered by peers? Will the outcome be good?

People often hesitate to make decisions. They’ve been burned before, slipped up, and didn’t think things through completely. Now, they hesitate.

There are at least two time factors connected to decisions. The assumed cost of making the decision too fast and the assumed cost of making the decision too slow.

Everyone making an important decision faces the analysis of the short run, the long run, and their own bias.

There are threats of poor information, peer pressure, and manipulation.

Are you making good decisions? What are the consequences?

Pressure Decisions

Stress and pressure seem to force decisions.

In the moment that you make an important and calculated decision, it is the right one. All of your information, analysis, and experiences draw you to decide.

After that moment, things can change. You can close on a mortgage and by the end of the week lose your job. When you made the choice, it was OK, suddenly, now, not so much.

It can be true about offering the price of a big contract to a client. True about seeing a medical professional if we just don’t feel quite right, or true about the best timing to buy a new car.

The pressure we face when making decisions has the consequence of the outcome. We also know the clock is ticking. Wait too long and bad things can happen, do it too quickly and bad things can happen.

Outside forces and gut feel often condition the decisions you make. Learning to control both can make a difference.

Yet, you’ll never escape the pressure of time. Too fast, too soon, or too slow and too late.

Sometimes you’ll get it just right.

Just right doesn’t last very long.

Learn to navigate time, not be pressured by it.

It costs less.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace patience

The Short Supply of Workplace Patience

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Most workplace teams are driven by time. As individuals, many people express a need for improving their time management skills. Do your employee teams illustrate workplace patience?

Often when the conversation of patience emerges there is a contradictory feeling connected with speed, pace, or customer expectations. It is true, time does tend to directly connect with money.

Should patience be a core value?

I often suggest to groups and teams that it should.

Patience is a learned skill. Patience should be practiced to be improved. A lack of patience costs.

Cost of Workplace Patience

There are at least two forms of cost connected with a lack of patience.

One cost is that of the work completed in a hurry or work completed through haste. The work becomes inferior. The idea often is, the more quantity across time, the better. Of course, the quality needs to be a recognized factor.

The other cost is more intangible. It is the cost of a lack of engagement, lower morale, bad attitudes, employee absenteeism, and turnover.

When employee teams see a team assignment slacking, they may jump in to pick up the pieces. In many cases, this is important and a sign of good teamwork.

The other side of this is that an employee who doesn’t fully participate often lacks buy-in. As a result of not being bought-in, they become more disengaged. They may take a back seat, the easy road, all the while knowing that whatever they don’t accomplish, someone else will do.

Time Factor

The mindset and performance of people is hard to measure with time.

Give ten different employees an individual assignment and not all ten will finish at the same time.

Easy enough to understand.

Yet if we monitor the performance of the fastest seven or eight and then pull the plug on the assignment, we know the unfinished two or three are somewhat disconnected.

Simple enough.

Is there an adequate supply of patience in your teams? How do you balance quality and quantity? Have you measured the impact of a shortage of patience?

Sometimes everybody needs a little patience. Just trying to get it right.

-DEG

H/T (Patience, is a 1989 song released by the band Guns-n-Roses. It included the lyric, “Just trying to get it right.”)

Originally posted on August 14, 2019, last updated on August 31, 2020.

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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analyzed enough

Wait, We Haven’t Analyzed Enough

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One person always wants to decide fast, quick, and hurried. Another wants more time, more data, and additional input. Have you analyzed enough?

It seems that there is always more data. We can ask a few more people, research some old work, and attempt to benchmark the industry. Does it really matter?

One trouble spot is that more data isn’t really what people seek. They are seeking more certainty, less risk, and the fear of a bad decision.

Wait for What?

Procrastination on a decision can still be a decision. “I’m making the choice to not decide, yet.”

A delay sometimes feels safer. The feeling is that you can’t be criticized because you didn’t decide, only if you do decide and you’re wrong.

You weigh the risk of the decision on the cost of being wrong instead of on the cost of time or the cost of being stuck.

It is the fallacy of critical thinking. No choice is a safe choice.

Analyzed Enough

The reality is that time is often not on our side. Patience is important, but time always keeps moving.

A decision or choice not made may allow the window to close, or worse, the competition jumps through leaving you behind.

You can spend a lot of time reviewing the past. Reliving the mistakes from before and feeling stuck about the action you should take next.

Experience suggests more watching, listening, and learning, yet time can’t wait.

Change needs motion. Motion means you are not stuck.

If there is a change you need to make, today may be a great day to start.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Training cost

Training Cost And Other Expenses

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Have you evaluated the training cost? Have you evaluated the cost of not training? What about the time commitment, is that stopping you?

There are plenty of excuses why organizations shy away from training. Some popular excuses relate to budget, time commitments, and occasionally someone will mention a lack of need.

Measure Costs

What are the true costs associated with a lost customer? What are the costs of poor decisions made by supervisors, managers, and other workplace leaders? Employee turnover, what does that cost?

I’ve been told, “When we have a choice to ship the product or sit in training. We’re always going to ship the product.”

It is a statement that is hard to work with, yet it is a mindset that is associated with higher costs of doing business.

Shipping the product today matters. Conceptually it matters more than training. I should say, “More than training today.” Shipping the product without training is a short run game. It works while it works, until it doesn’t.

Training Cost

Most organizations deepest interest is to grow. Increase revenue, share the mission objective, touch more people, change lives, impress investors, and build, grow, build, grow.

In most businesses or even the non-profit, the long game matters more. A three-person company can ship the product efficiently, a three-hundred-person company may be different.

The infrastructure costs could be a few million, or rent or lease, is multiple tens of thousands per month. Salary and benefits, they are likely the largest item on the income statement.

Marketing and advertising, they are often paid months in advance of the collection of the accounts receivable from a possible sale.

Will you do all of that without training? That is just on the surface, dig deeper and you’ll discover more. What will shape your culture?

Every dollar invested in training accounts for many more dollars you’ll save somewhere else.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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great value

Great Value Is More Meaningful Than Price

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We know better, but we still do it. Every time we are about to make a big purchase we excruciatingly get stuck on the price. Great value is what we should really be assessing.

We may grab a snack from the convenience store, a coffee at the trendy shop, or feed a dollar or two into the vending machine and think nothing of it. Bigger ticket items often cause us to pause.

Value In Action

Yesterday, I joked with some friends on social media about buying a new Range Rover. The most consistent part of several threads across a couple of days was price.

Price can be an easy way of saying “no.” Why is that so easy? Often because no one is considering the value.

What are you or your organization buying? What are the big-ticket items that have your attention? How will you prepare your personal or departmental budget for the coming year?

Price, although often negotiable, is very apparent. We see the numbers and analyze the fit. Is it affordable? Will it work?

The CFO or your CPA may choose some deeper analysis. What is the anticipated life, the costs associated with ownership, and what will it do, if anything, to the balance sheet? Smart people.

Great Value

All these things matter, but many of them are more connected with price than value. Is value important?

Truly the Range Rover should be about value. The purchase of a personal computing device should be about value. Our home, our furniture, about value.

In the workplace when we bring on a new employee, about value. When we invest in employee training and development, about value. That large capital equipment purchase, it should be about value.

Beyond the technical or mechanical evaluation of price, there is often the intangible part of value.

One thing is certain. Be cautious of low price, it is often not connected with great value.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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excellence cost

What Does Excellence Cost?

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Many individuals and businesses strive for excellence. It is an admirable goal. Does excellence have a price? What does excellence cost?

It seems that there may be many potential ways to measure the cost of excellence. We can consider hours spent, hard costs such as tools or equipment, and perhaps the opportunity cost of trading one thing for another.

Popular Pursuits

Businesses may strive to reduce waste, increase efficiency, and have fewer than one defective part in every million produced. All good and meaningful goals.

What is the cost? Often argued is that costs are improved. Less waste, faster, and better-quality results in more profit. We can do the math on those costs to get to the end result. Are there other costs?

History Teaches

Perhaps post-industrial revolution we have some remnants of excellence. Things like John Deere tractors, Ford automobiles, and Harley Davidson motorcycles.

These are all companies that pushed hard for excellence. Perhaps long before manufacturing developed catchy terms and acronyms for process control. Even well before Toyota existed.

So, what about John Deere, Ford, and Harley Davidson? What price did they pay for excellence? Many have studied the Ford story, some have looked closer at John Deere and Harley Davidson. What are the lessons learned?

Are the lessons tighter controls, stricter specifications, and appropriate treatment of the human side of the business? Certainly, yes. Are there other lessons?

Excellence Cost

In your career or in your business have you thought about the costs of excellence? Not the tangible costs, but the intangibles?

Much of the best innovation, product development, and future growth doesn’t spring up from tight systems and restricted movement. It doesn’t happen when the mindset is to attain perfection and never change.

Preaching continuous improvement is a paradox when the real rules are no deviations.

Even the best sometimes struggle to get out of their own way.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Customer Service Balance

Customer Service Balance Is Reasonable

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Have you ever thought about what makes special things, special? What really creates a memorable customer experience? Having customer service balance may be what attracts the masses. Do you have it?

What is the difference between the racecar and one you buy off the dealership lot?

Why does the state of the art always come with bugs?

Making coffee at home is a fraction of the price at the gourmet shop, but the gourmet shop is always packed with people.

High Cost or Reliable

The fast racecar is expensive. It is custom built, requiring hours of special labor. It is fast, but it is designed to win the race, not go the most miles without maintenance.

The latest technology, most elaborate software, or techie gadget often isn’t perfected, but it is breaking new ground with features others don’t have. It is cool, but doesn’t always work and the learning curve is long.

Coffee from a home brewing device doesn’t allow you to easily visit a few friends, display your new shoes, or have others observe you in action with your mobile computing device.

Being the best has costs. Having the fastest car, the latest techno gadget, or sipping one dollar per every two ounces of coffee costs too. Those who produce the best and consume the best should realize that there is volatility to the market.

Volatile Market

The fastest car won’t last as long as the lower priced mass produced reliable one. Having the newest techno gadget is pretty cool, until those on the old platform are still surfing while you’re waiting for tech support or trying to figure out the new menu. The coffee shop is the place to be right now, it’s not the only place.

Having the best or creating a trend costs, but often being the most reliable, with a reasonable price will endure the volatile nature of the consumer.

Customer Service Balance

Customer service balance may be about the best solution. People paying a reasonable price don’t expect perfection.

What they do expect is to get what they pay for. Their purchase risk is smaller and long-term satisfaction is much higher.

Special, high end, and the fastest is cool, until it isn’t, which usually doesn’t take very long. This is exactly why it is only a trend.

Balance seems much more reasonable.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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The Costs Of Low-Trust

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Have you measured the cost of trust in your organization? Many people believe trust matters, but are they consciously aware of the costs associated with low-trust?

Have a look

I’ve witnessed plenty of C-Suite executives and other workplace leaders ignore or misunderstand the value of organizational trust just long enough to discover that they must now find a new place to hang their hat. Often this is the result of failing to listen, or ignoring the critical warning signs of low-trust.

Trust might be considered to be an intangible asset and while not directly represented on the income statement low-trust certainly impacts the bottom line. Like the value of your brand, your reputation, or intellectual property trust might be hard to measure, but organizations that have significantly low levels of trust might want to think about how to improve.

I see it often in my profession. If you can’t see it, touch it, or pick it up and put it in a box, then it must not be real or it is certainly not something that we should be concerned about. This is often true with things like generational diversity issues, the human side of change management, and trust. I’ve met a few C-Suite folks who scoff at generational issues claiming that they aren’t real or that they’ve been the same for 100 years. This is absolutely not true because generational differences are not about age brackets or frameworks, they are about differing values and beliefs that are connected with people representing various frameworks that we categorize based on birth year.

Trust typically is not like a light switch where you either have it or you don’t, it exists more in stages ranging from low to high. Low-trust is not desirable and here are a few of the possible costs associated with low-trust:

  • tardiness
  • absenteeism
  • turnover
  • re-work
  • duplicate work
  • tarnished reputation
  • lost sales
  • lost clients
  • theft
  • fraud

Some of these may seem straight forward or others might seem to be a stretch, but denial of the existence of any of these can lead to higher costs in your organization. The warning signs of low-trust are typically easily spotted if you’re looking for them, but first you must believe that trust issues are real and that the failure to ensure a trusting environment will lead to much higher organizational costs.

High-Trust

We must also recognize a few things about high-trust. Just as low-trust may negatively impact the bottom-line, high-trust environments will do the opposite. In high-trust environments, teams communicate easily and effectively. They don’t have too much communication nor do they have too little. People aren’t afraid to communicate and they are not using communication for self-protection (C.Y.A.). Conversations with teams and delegation efforts are free-flowing and are automatic. Micromanagement is minimalized because managers and direct reports understand each other and the work that needs to be completed, most of all, they trust that the work will get finished on time, and with the highest quality.

If you don’t think trust matters ask a sky-diver about their parachute, a hospital patient about their anesthesiologist, or an ironworker on a skyscraper about their safety harness!

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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