Category Archives: Management Consultant

Giving And Receiving

You work hard in your vegetable garden and harvest an abundance of fresh produce. You fill a bag full of tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, and squash and knock on your neighbor’s door to share the bounty of your harvest. As you hand her the gift from your garden, she asks if she can pay you something. You decline, but you also understand why she’s asking. If it’s not Christmas, a birthday, or an anniversary, people are uncomfortable with the idea of receiving a gift.

We have a human tendency to want to work for everything we get. That is sometimes accompanied by the feeling that what we don’t earn is sometimes undeserved, and that feeling keeps us from both giving and receiving in a way that blesses others.

Importance Of Giving And Receiving

Life is about graciously giving and receiving in all areas of our lives. We must all bless in order to both be a blessing, and receive blessings, in life. But when it comes to our businesses, what are the practical expressions of blessing others?  Consider these as examples:

  • Under-promise and over-deliver.  Learn to employ the motto, “Always deliver more than you promise.”
  • Add valuable content to social media.  Follow the 80/20 rule.  All of your social media content should follow the rule – 80% value added and 20% asking for business.
  • Don’t nitpick the pennies.  If you charge hourly fees, as I often do, be more concerned about doing what is right than getting paid for every minute you spend with your clients.  Trust me – they know when you do, they appreciate it, and they will bless you with more business because of it.
  • Be employee-centric.  Developing a profitable business requires a customer-centric approach – and developing a customer-centric business requires an employee-centric approach.  Don’t expect your employees to care about and for your customers until they know you care about them.
  • Be customer-centric.  Focus your business on blessing and delighting your customers.  Always remember – people do business with those whom they know, like, and trust.  Be known, be likeable, and be trustworthy.

How many more ideas can you and your team come up with?


©2014 by Gary L. Smith and Optimum Performance Technologies, LLC (  All rights reserved.

Steps to Creating, Implementing, and Benefitting from KPIs


As a business and management consultant, I have been involved in the creation of many Key Performance Indicators. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can be beneficial tools for resolving issues, staying focused on critical goals, and driving your business in the right direction. Several concepts that must be clearly understood, communicated, and implemented to ensure that your organization reaps the maximum benefit from your KPI efforts.

Definition of KPIs

Every business must take certain actions correctly, and on a regular basis, to meet customer expectations, be profitable, and grow sales. Owners and managers who are serious about the success of their organizations take the time to identify, document, and track the trends of the actions they believe are critical to the success of their companies. These actions are referred to as Key Performance Indicators. KPIs include the tracking and trending of diverse metrics like sales dollars, marketing expenses, operational costs, on-time delivery, customer returns, and quality.

Selection of KPIs

The proper selection of KPIs should be driven by two factors: your business goals, and the areas of your business that need the most improvement. Aligning your KPIs with these two factors effectively stacks the deck in your favor by focusing the organization on its most crucial goals and its weakest performance areas. In the development of KPIs, look at you business holistically and consider both internal and external factors that affect your company’s growth, service, and profitability.

Employee Involvement in KPI Selection

KPIs are not identified in a vacuum. Because the associates in your organization are the ones who will be responsible for gathering data, tracking the trends, and working to improve the KPIs, they should be involved in decisions regarding the creation, implementation, and utilization of these critical measures. Employees have valuable input concerning which KPIs will be tracked and at what frequency; how data will be collected, analyzed, and displayed; setting improvement goals; helping to define how the KPI improvement process will work; and the kinds of recognition and rewards that will be most meaningful.

Monitoring KPIs

Display the most impactful KPIs graphically at a location in the organization where the employees responsible for affecting change can review them frequently. Easy to read graphs are the most popular display method. Display locations vary but typical places are near cafeterias, break rooms, and time clocks. The KPI charts should include sufficient historical data to establish a current trend line, a clear display of the current target the team is striving to reach, and a current projected trend based on the most recent data.

Effective Implementation of KPIs

Effective implementation of KPIs begins with clearly communicating the meaning and purpose of the KPI process to employees. After the goal of implementing KPIs is understood, rudimentary training in data collection, analysis, and display equips employees with the necessary skills to do the work. Involving employees in KPI selection and measurement solidified their buy-in to the process.

The KPI process must be backed by a corrective action system. Corrective action becomes the vehicle that identifies the root cause of negative KPI trends. An effective corrective action system closes the loop by putting problem resolutions in place and verifying the effectiveness of these solutions by showing a reversal in negative KPI trends. It is incumbent upon management to conduct a regular review of LPI progress at organizational meetings, along with appropriate recognition of progress and goals achieved.