Five Steps to a Better Stronger Small Business – The Article

The Path


  • Small business is hard.  How do you know you're prepared to be a small business owner, and how do you create a better stronger business?
  • Make sure you are on the right path. Are you executing your passions? Is it easy to dedicate time to it? Do you have a plan? Do you believe in yourself and your vision?
  • Build a system for success. Create a vision of the future. Build a repeatable system and execute well. Instrument for success. Improve what doesn't meet expectations. Maintain momentum.

Walmart Now Selling Boeing Dreamliners

Boeing Dreamliner
  • The customer experience is king: design, execute, monitor and adjust (Plan-Do-Check-Act).
  • Cost savings come in the oddest places, leave no stone unturned. 
  • Know your limits and use experts to help, such as a mentor, coach or consultant.

In keeping with my series about how we’re not as far along as we think, I’d like to talk about a few major faux pas I’ve seen recently.  One was at a famous and large retailer, Walmart.  The other is visible from my backyard.

The 10 Minute Kaizen - A Simple Improvement Method for Everyone

  • Decide what problem to fix
  • Do something new or differently
  • Check to see if it helped
  • Capture and standardize the new practice

We’re not as far along as we think we are...

Dog dressed as a frog
  • Never be satisified with the status quo and don't sacrifice yourself along the way
  • Get a fresh perspective (usually an outsider) to tell you what can be right in front of you
  • Work ON your business or organization or group, and don't give up!

Spending My Days in E-Mail are Over!

Empty Inbox


  • Focus on action not messaging, use tasks to track work
  • Establish projects to make tasks manageable
  • Process your inbox to zero using the 5Ds
  • Block time for planning
  • Focus on what's important, subordinate everything else

Standardizing Personal Processes

Look at any continuous improvement philosophy, and at its heart you will find standardization. When people don’t perform a process the same way each and every time, quality suffers, lead times are erratic (and long), and productivity is hamstrung. No operation can prosper without stable processes that can deliver consistent results.

Smart Leadership In The New Economy


  • The rules for effective leadership have changed and strong leaders need to be able to adapt
  • Both companies and employees are facing new challenges that will make or break many organizations
  • The leaders of tomorrow will be the people who helped usher organizations through the turbulence of today
  • By embracing some new ideas, the recession can be turned to your advantage and you can prepare yourself, your company and your people for greater success

ASQ's Quality Body of Knowledge Embraces Personal Excellence

  • ASQ announces a Quality Body of Knowledge (QBOK®)
  • QBOK Embraces Personal Excellence
  • QBOK declares Pursuit of Personal Excellence as, Personal Mastery, Quality Fit, Interpersonal Skills, Leadership, and Personal Quality Philosophy
  • How will it be integrated into certifications?

Covey's Seven Habits Celebrates it's 20th Anniversary - My Journey

Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.jpg


  • Five lessons learned: use 360 reviews, goals apply to your whole life, connect daily tasks to your goals, think win/win doesn't apply to every interaction, block time to sharpen the saw.
  • Engineers (technical types) have a difficult time with the soft skills, i.e. there are soft skills?
  • Self reflection and growth only comes when you're ready to hear it.  Just like many programs, you can't work on something until you admit that it's an issue.
  • A personal mission statement is the foundation upon which all decisions and actions are based.

Breaking the Customer's Chains - How to Innovate AND Stay Focused on Your Customer



  • Focusing solely on your customer can stifle growth and innovation
  • Leading your customer is possible through a consultative relationship which can help find mutually beneficial ways of increasing profit margin
  • Creating a new market for your products or harnessing a new technology can take a completely different business model that the one that made you successful in the first place
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