Tag Archives: expertise

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organizational success

Organizational Success, Roof Repair, and the Mechanic

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What is the connection to creating organizational success, making a roof repair, and a fixing a car? Likely not much, and there probably shouldn’t be since each require different types of expertise.

One of the biggest mistakes I often observe with small businesses (less than $35.5 million in annual revenue and 1,500 employees) is that they can’t get out of their own way.

Field of Experts

Theoretically, small businesses are led by experts in their field. Engineers lead engineering firms, attorneys lead law firms, and the landscaping business is owned and operated by those who are experts in landscaping.

This seems to make sense, it is practical, and likely an appropriate pathway for success.

What happens when the landscaper needs legal representation, or the widget manufacturer needs an advertising campaign? What if the convenience store needs a new roof or the local insurance agency needs car repair?

If you are the executive leader of an advertising agency, city mayor, or the director of a thriving non-profit humanitarian organization you are likely not also a computer engineer, tree trimmer, or carpenter.

Are you going to fix the bug in the software? Cut down the 85-year-old maple tree that is threatening the office, or build an additional room for your expansion?

Organizational Success

Creating organizational success comes from your expertise.

Just because you had a college class in psychology or business law, does not make you an expert.

Because you once participated in a strategic planning session you are not an expert at facilitating strategy.

Reading a book, watching a video, or attending a seminar to expand your knowledge on any topic is valuable. Becoming an expert requires hours and hours of pounding on your craft.

Organizational success develops from focus. Know your lane, leverage and outsource everything else.

As an organizational leader your job is not to do everything. It is to create the best of everything.


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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Diversify Sometimes Means Doing More, Getting Less

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The small engine repair shop can fix bicycles if someone asks. A washing machine repairperson can wire a new light switch, and the pizza shop can serve eggs benedict. Should they diversify?

Often the mindset is that if we don’t have it, we can get it. It is tempting to grab some money on the table and run to the next table to see what is desirable there. Also tempting is chocolate cake, sleeping in, and another cocktail at happy hour. None of which may be a good idea.

Doing More

It may seem easy for the restaurant to expand the menu, the mechanic to fix everything that has a bolt, and for the landscaper to paint the porch, stain the deck, or seal the driveway.

If there is time, a need, a question, or what is otherwise believed to be an opportunity, then perhaps it is tempting to take it. The mindset is, when customers ask, we don’t refer, we respond.

This appears to work, that is until you are an expert at nothing. What you become known for is unclear, and how people refer you doesn’t seem to make any sense. Is your small business a group of part-time hobbyist or experts?


The general store has general merchandise and this makes sense. A medical doctor knows something about tending to cuts and bruises, and can also take your temperature and diagnose the common cold.

On the other hand, the shoemaker probably shouldn’t get involved with wagon wheels. Both help you go places, but they are a completely different markets and expertise.


Getting eggs benedict at the pizza shop is unusual. It typically would not strengthen their business, but distract from it. Making them more noticed is having the best pizza, or the best eggs, but likely not both.

McDonalds tried pizza for a while, but I don’t believe it was a hit. Taco Bell has tested french fries, and Tractor Supply has been known to sell baby chicks and ducks.

Having a wider offering seems logical to pick up some extra cash, or cause a little excitement. Is it really what you want? Does it make sense or is it a distraction?

Most people are trying to remove clutter from their life. It seems to make things easier, better, and more focused. Cluttered businesses typically don’t really get noticed, but the specialty shop is easy to refer.

The idea to diversify may make sense for the general store, not so much for the specialty shop.

Which one are you?

If you say, “both.”

I’ll say, “The small engine repair shop can fix…”


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.

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