Turbo Leadership Systems

Phone: (503) 625-1867 • Fax: (503) 625-2699 • email: admin@turbols.com
Issue 56 To our clients and friends September 6, 2005
Stop the Flow of Red Ink With Brainstorming
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Tell your team the score and they will help improve it!

Sharon, president of an Oregon HVAC company, told session 9 of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):

“Three weeks ago, after listening to Larry, my instructor at the LDL, and watching how he used the easel with a flip chart pad, I went out and purchased an easel for our company to use in our staff team meetings. I figured we could use it to ‘Brainstorm’ with all of our employees. I scheduled an all-company meeting in the conference room of a local restaurant.

One of our main problems seemed to be a lack of direction and focus. We are underbidding and as a result, experiencing cost overruns in labor and materials. The company is spending more on several of the jobs we are running than we are taking in. This is a problem! The spilling of red ink had to stop immediately.

As the meeting got underway, our employees were eager to offer their suggestions. We got some great ideas along with some that were not so hot. Remember, in brainstorming we want quantity, not quality. They came up with a likely list of possible causes for our cost overruns. Then we brainstormed all the possible solutions. We decided to start implementing some important operational changes the next day. The most important decision we made was a decision to start each week with a meeting to look at last week’s production and set this week’s project and overall company

production goals. We have already seen a big upturn in productivity and are moving some red jobs into the black.

The lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of involving our people in the challenges the company faces. I now better understand that our employees — all of our employees – want to be included in the direction we are taking. They want to know how we are doing. They want to help solve the problems we are facing and they have good ideas. They want and need to feel part of the team.

The action I call you to take is to set aside any fears you have of asking for help. Don’t wait. Tell your people the target, the score, and ask for their help in improving performance to reach and exceed your goals.

The benefit you will gain is great ideas, great suggestions to help you find the solutions to problems your firm is facing. Through this process, your people will engage and act in a motivated manner. You will create a high performance team that experiences the joy of continuous improvement.”


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