How Steven Jobs Can Stimulate our Thinking about Succession Planning

“Business, more than any other occupation, is a continual dealing with the future; it is a continual calculation, an instinctive exercise in foresight” – Henry R. Luce   Steve Jobs death is certainly an incredible loss at many levels. However, there are important questions and lessons for founders and leaders of closely held businesses. Most companies have been founded by a dynamic and willful individual whose resolve to develop and sell their product or service is unwavering; with the success coming usually at great personal sacrifice. Given the relatively low percentage of companies that successfully transition from one leader to [...]

Choose Your Business Advisor Wisely

To accept good advice is but to increase one's own ability. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it. ~ Wilson Mizner A client of mine recently told me that his long-term accountant was someone he only saw once a year to review taxes. The CPA never really showed much interest in the overall health of the business or the strategies or tactics of the business. He simply did the tax work at the end of the year. This was a relationship of well over 10 years and, although the client had hoped the [...]

Are You Engaging the Creativity of Your People?

We recently discussed ways in which your organization could tap into its creative resources. I mentioned a few resources and strategic plans that could be put into action to achieve the creative results that any Fortune 500 company would be proud to obtain. Today, we're going to talk a little more about getting creativity from your company and how to put that creativity to work for you. Identify Your Company's Top Resources and Put Them To Work I've said it time and time again – a company will not thrive unless it is able to recognize what its most valuable assets [...]

What Will Be Your Legacy?

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. ~ Billy Graham What makes greatness is starting something that lives after you. ~ Leonard Bernstein The Reverend Graham’s quotation no doubt refers to larger issues than business management. However, baby boomer business owners would be wise to heed his words in the context of business exit planning. As retirement draws closer, business leaders must prepare for what comes next. Financial planning is obviously a critical aspect of exit planning. You need to ensure that you will have assets and income sufficient [...]

Are You Putting Your Company’s Creativity to the Test?

Companies say they value creativity, and if your company is like most, you're probably among them. The question is, are you really doing everything you can to unlock the creativity within your organization? Are you doing everything possible to ensure that the creativity that your company needs is being accessed and used to its fullest? Are Your Greatest Assets Being Utilized? Many companies overlook the fact that their greatest assets are actually their employees and when it comes to creativity, employees often have quite a bit to contribute. No matter what job description an employee may hold, whether it be [...]

Exit Planning? Time to Start is Now!

As one of the 22 million business owners in the United States, you are likely over 50 years old. According to a 2005 PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey of companies in the $5 million to $150 million of value range, there's a two in three chance that you plan to leave your company in the next 10 years. Yet, only 22% of you report having done a great deal of succession planning. In fact, you are more likely to have an idea of what you will do, should you become disabled, than you are to have plans for your own voluntary and inevitable [...]