In our last newsletter we spoke about our Call To Action For The Rapid Rebuild Of Our Economy, specifically as it pertains to our country, states, municipalities and businesses at a strategic level.
In this edition I would like to specifically speak at a tactical level about the Rapid Rebuild Of Our Economy as it pertains to Businesses. As in all journeys, the journey will start with the important first steps.
THE 100 DAY PLAN
Our call to action’s first step will be to build our 100-day plan. The plan will focus on ways to restore confidence and inspire action around a vision of perfection centered on our customers and our people. Our call to action is to launch a more unified business focused on our customers and our people and the rapid rebuild of our brand. We cannot do this overnight, but we can and will accelerate our plans for growth. Our objective is to emerge as a more formidable enterprise. This starts with knowing who we are, where we are today, and where we are going.
You are the agents of change in your organization. Our vision going forward includes defining:
Who we are
What we stand for and
What we will never compromise
The remainder of the year we are focusing our efforts around two main themes – growth and execution. Growth will be the end result from our collective efforts to execute flawlessly every transaction for which we are responsible. Execution is our ability to deliver as a team.
OUR 100 DAY PLAN ROADMAP WILL BE GUIDED BY THE BIG 8
The Big 8 supports our 100-day plan and complements our values, ethics, and mission. Both recognize that our people are our most important asset.
The Big 8 starts and ends with our people, as does growth and flawless execution. As an example:
Our people adopting safety as a core value.
Our people looking for ways to serve the unique needs of customers with energy.
Our people exhibiting creativity and enthusiasm for the business.
Our people approaching each opportunity as a brand ambassador.
Our people recognizing opportunities to improve execution and fixing internal and external issues with true solutions.
The more our employees understand what is expected of them and where we are headed as an organization, the better able they are to align themselves and work efficiently to accomplish our goals. Additionally, the Strategic 100-day Plan will be developed around The Big 8. This is the basis for developing action plans in order to meet our Big 8 Elements for the remainder of the year.
THE BIG 8 ELEMENTS
Safety as a core value
Diversification of our customer base to grow organically and take advantage of new opportunities from the new normal.
Increase return on invested capital (ROIC)
Reduce debt to improve operational leverage
Improve capital structure
Generate free cash flow
Less volatile earnings
Be the best people in the industry
This level of planning will help us know and manage this business like we have never done before, having a sound business plan and effectively delivering Operational Excellence that will set us apart from our competition during the first 100-days and beyond. Our Big 8 in broader detail:
1. SAFETY AS A CORE VALUE.
Safety is integral to the solutions we provide our customers in this new world. Through training, communications, and personal accountability, we are committed to instilling a safety culture throughout our organization and one the public can see. Your brand promise will contain a “safe and thoughtful” approach to your business. This includes doing things safely, thoughtfully, and efficiently the first time. This will instill confidence in our people and our customers that they are safe!
2. DIVERSIFICATION OF OUR CUSTOMER BASE TO GROW ORGANICALLY.
To grow our business requires a deep understanding of our current service portfolio, new services that will be born out of this “new normal” and the markets we serve. In doing so, we will market what we do well. We will sell where there is opportunity to go deeper and wider with current customers and where there is prospective business with new customers in new markets that span the enterprise. To grow organically, we must all be salespeople and brand ambassadors – always striving for opportunities to promote our business.
3. INCREASE RETURN ON INVESTED CAPITAL.
Return on Invested Capital (ROIC) is a financial measure that quantifies how efficiently a company allocates its cash investments relative to how much cash flow those investments generate. Focusing on ROIC effectively allows us to show how we manage a limited pool of resources to maximize profit. When we all Act Like An Owner, we realize that protecting our assets to extend their useful life and leveraging investments to maximize business process improvements and cost reductions increase our ROIC. Always ask, is our investment return greater than our risk?
4. REDUCE DEBT TO IMPROVE OPERATIONAL LEVERAGE.
Operating leverage is a measure of how revenue growth translates into growth in operating income, which is impacted by fixed and variable costs. While there are many ways to measure this, three ways each and every one of us can help make exponential gains are by:
Growing the business.
Reducing expenses and the Company’s use of cash.
Look at our business through the lens of Balanced Leadership and Act Like An Owner to create positive operating leverage.
5. IMPROVE CAPITAL STRUCTURE.
Capital structure is how our business finances its overall operations and growth by using difference sources of funds. It is measured by a leverage ratio of total debt to EBIDTA. For us in the near term, having low capital expenditures plus an efficient and profitable operating strategy will equal a high level of free cash flow.
6. GENERATE FREE CASH FLOW.
Free cash flow represents the cash that we are able to generate after paying for our assets and expenses such as salaries, vendors, facilities, equipment, etc. When we have a positive cash flow, we will be able to better pay down debt and invest in our business and our people to increase growth in the new market segments we have identified. By making thoughtful and deliberate decisions, we can build new opportunities to generate free cash flow and reduce our debt to secure an optimal capital structure.
7. LESS VOLATILE EARNINGS.
A well-balanced business has well-balanced earnings. By defining new segments and services, and selling existing solutions in new geographical markets, we can ensure consistency in our earnings throughout the year. This will create a steady stream of revenue, in addition to our traditional business peaks.
8. BE THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE INDUSTRY.
Being the best is something to strive for each day. It is an innate force and powerful state of mind visible to others through a determined and enthusiastic, can-do attitude. We intend to be the best educated and safest solutions provider connecting customers with leading technologies in the safest manner possible.
Finally, the goal is to create a vision of perfection centered on the customer. This includes communicating with, educating, and training our people, aligning performance goals, and focusing on accountability.
I am confident we can have a rapid rebuild of our economy and businesses. We can become the world-class company we set our minds to be through disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action.
Our success will measure by the degree to which we can get everyone in our organization at every level, to:
and execute our vision and strategy.
We may have to change our speed and approach but our vision, strategy, mission, and our values have not changed, but are being reinforced and applied quicker and deeper. Regardless of this adjustment, as the leaders of our organization, we must set the standards for what “Good Looks Like” and replicate it in everything we do.
None of us can do this alone. But together we can. We will focus on our Big 8 in the short-term and our first 100-days, to take us to our long-term goal of being a stronger company then before this event.
As leaders, we must always be constructively dissatisfied – continuously improving our business processes, improving our own skills, and developing our people.
Today, we launch a more unified focus on the rapid rebuild of our brand and business.
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. – Francis of Assisi
How can we use the extra time we now have to turn adversity into opportunity?
1. Read good books to strengthen your mind and spirit. We have all had that book that we just have not had the time to read. I have enclosed a link to a book sample of Tighten the Lug Nuts that can provide some interesting insights. Note especially the sample chapter on Simple Acts of Kindness. Download the sample here.
2. If you have had to cancel a conference due to unforeseen circumstances and are concerned about finding and signing a keynote speaker, breakout session leader and/or master of ceremonies – please do not stress. We will work with you and will provide a 20% discount to anyone who needs our help. Along with myself, we have a tremendous team of experts in various fields we can make available for all your needs. Visit our website for more information and again, please do not stress.
3. Podcasts are available that provide pertinent information on all kinds of topics. Businessrelated topics are just some of them. Take this opportunity to listen to some of your favorite speakers and perhaps some new ones you have not had time to listen to. We have 80 podcasts available that are now searchable by topic, show name or leadership competency. You can listen here.
4. We are all missing MARCH MADNESS. To get your fix, visit our web site for an exclusive video of legendary Coach John Wooden. This is one of a kind, never-seen-before extensive interview with this legendary sports icon. Watch the interview.
5. Finally, if you binge-watched all your favorite shows and are avoiding large groups at the
theater, visit our video page to be both entertained and educated. We have redesigned our video page to help you find information that is both valuable and practical. The new interface allows you to search the videos in our library by topic. These include:
Keynote Speaking videos Training videos Coach’s Corner videos Tighten The Lug Nuts videos Interviews videos Balanced Leadership videos
Steps to Protect Yourself
Clean your hands often:
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick
• Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay home if you’re sick:
• Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover coughs and sneezes:
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
• Throw used tissues in the trash.
• Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a face mask if you are sick:
• If you are sick: You should wear a face mask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a face mask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
• If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a face mask). Face masks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
• Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
• If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection