Turbo Leadership Systems

Phone: (503) 625-1867 • Fax: (503) 625-2699 • email: admin@turbols.com
Issue 50 To our clients and friends July 26, 2005
Brainstorming Ideas Gets Cash Flowing
Larry W. Dennis, Sr.
Turbo Leadership

Listening is the starting point for solving your problems.

Angie, corporate secretary and chief financial officer for a large construction company in South Central Washington, told Session 9 of the Leadership Development LAB:

“Last Friday, while reviewing my check run report, I realized we were short on cash. As I began to research the problem, I found several jobs that had not been billed the amount that should have been billed based on the milestones they had reached and the to-date labor and material costs they had incurred. I know from past experience that this is a sensitive issue. Every time we bring this issue to the attention of the division’s Vice President, it seems to result in a fight between the project managers and the accounting department.

I met with my accounts receivable person to analyze and isolate the problem. We brainstormed and began to document our billing process to find possible places where we can improve, streamline, and reduce the possibility for errors that result in delays in billing. I also met with one of the project managers to brainstorm the steps the project managers use in their inputs to the billing process. The next week, at the regularly scheduled weekly mechanical department meeting, I asked to be added to the agenda to present our findings to the group so that we could work together to come up with an easy to implement solution. As the meeting progressed, it became apparent to everyone that the project managers were not billing enough because they were only billing through the end of the month. At the same time, they were

communicating with suppliers to deliver invoices to get payment for their costs on our invoices in a timely manner.

The net result was money was going out faster than it was coming in. The accounting department and project managers worked together to make the internal changes needed to help insure our progress billing goes out in a timely manner.

The lesson I learned from this experience is that there are always two sides to the story and I need to listen to both sides to make the problem solving process less of a fight and more of a collaborative learning experience.

The action I call you to take when you have a problem is listen to both sides of the story before jumping to conclusions and creating a fight. The benefit you will gain by working together to solve a problem is the advantage that comes from making everyone involved feel they have contributed to the solution, and therefore everyone will buy into putting the solution into action. This will help ensure the success of whatever change you implement.”

Hard to fly in formation if you are fighting with other members of your own team.

If you or anyone you know is a motorcycle enthusiast, they will love the excerpts from Larry’s newest book, Motorcycle Meditations – A Vision Quest to Alaska, which can be found in the June, July and August issues of Twin Magazine. The June issue goes on sale at newsstands May 10th. Pick it up, read it and share it with your friends!