Succession & Human Resource Planning

Org chart

Making Better Decisions

Rather than focus on why we make bad decisions, I invite you to shift the focus. Ask yourself, "How can we as leaders make more effective decisions?"

You're at the Controls of a Vast Source of Power!

Just imagine being at the controls of such a vast source of power, roaring down the road.

Your Next Big Idea Could Be the Difference Between Having a Future or Not Having a Future

Firms that invest in their innovative capabilities during tough economic times will be the ones who will benefit most when better times return.

5 Attributes to Develop for S.A.L.E.S Success

Attributes are like habits. They can be developed and made stronger and more effective.

Get Ready to Grow

"If your budget was created for economic headwinds, then now is the time to revisit your assumptions"

10 Powerful Lessons on Customer Service-From a Car Dealer?

Positive customer experiences are so few and far between that when you deliver one, people remember. Let's call this competitive advantage,

Have You Ever Asked Yourself Why Anyone Would Want to be Led by You

Most people who find themselves in a position of leadership have no idea what that position demands.

Your Competitive Advantage is Only as Good as Your People

What is not given the attention that is needed is what happens when employees are not motivated, not trained well, exhausted, or not empowered to think

15.5 Powerful Reasons to Make Goal Setting A Habit

If you want to know why goals are so important and how you can benefit from making them a habit in your business and life, here are 15.5 powerful reasons

Risk Management: Plan, Then Execute

Thinking critically about risk and developing a comprehensive plan is one of the most important things an executive can do for their company, and many companies treat the creation of a risk management plan as a check-the-box exercise.

Taking Some of the Guess Work Out of Hiring the "Perfect" Candidate

Recently I have spoken to two clients who are relatively new to the hiring process. Both have expressed frustration in screening resumes and getting the right people into the interview process, ultimately making the right choice.

Are You More Productive Then You Were Five Years Ago?

Less people doing more work, ever changing demands from our clients are certainly causes of lost productivity and lower morale. In my experience, the biggest culprit of lost productivity is uncertainty.

Is Your Strategy Failing (Or Non-Existent)?

Ask yourself: Is my organization's business performance in decline with no clear strategies and tactics in place to deal with the true problems? Is esprit de corps falling? Are people at all levels seriously worried about the competition taking away market share?

Happiness in 30 days or Less (and it's free)!

Some colleagues and I were recently discussing success, the book "The Power of the Subconscious Mind" and how the subconscious can impact one's success.

Do You Learn From Failure, Or Just Wring Your Hands?

There are failures that can be seen as intelligent failures.

The Power of Disruptive Technology

The trick, of course, is to understand why some innovations catch on and spread rapidly while others languish or come to a halt.

What's the Right Level of Risk Management?

Companies that do successful risk management tend to address the basics first.


We must start in our schools and continue to innovate in our businesses.

Are You Doing Enough Marketing?

If your business or organization is to maximize opportunities, a marketing effort must be in place and executed well.

Anybody Can Create an Entrepreneurial Mindset

Changing culture is about creating game changing ideas that at first challenge and then change the way we think. I believe that strategic leadership in the dynamic global market we face, across all sectors, needs to address this very same reality.

Create a Climate Environment to Develop Customer Loyalty

I recently had a conversation with a colleague around customer service (internally and externally) in organizations. The question we were after an answer to was "How does an organization create a climate/environment by design which provides the opportunity for individuals to maximize their involvement in best serving the customer?"

Spirituality and Success

In these demanding times it's not uncommon for successful people to experience an imbalance between their professional and personal areas of life. Spirituality is often a personal area busy professionals want to develop further; to help them strike a better balance between the professional and personal sides of life.

Sales Team Forecasting - Hit or Miss?

Every business is different, some are seasonal, some have monthly repeat business - as in publishing - and others forecast on annual revenues, the most difficult of all. Having had sales management experience in all three, I have summarized the skills of my best sales "forecasting" team members, as follows:

Leadership and Change

The ultimate test of whether you are an effective leader is: do you get things to happen, and do they get done effectively. Only the most effective leaders will be able to ride the slow upward swing of the economy.

January First: Inspiring A New Beginning!

What really inspires you? I'd like to share a story about getting in touch with your inspiration.

Money Comes In, Money Goes Out

As a business owner, have you found more money going out the door than coming in the door? Is there too much month at the end of the money?


A vision is a statement about where you want your company to be in the future as compared with where it is today. Creating your vision can be considered discovering your future.

Focus on Meaningful Goals

The big challenge is determining what is most meaningful to us, and this is not necessarily an easy task.

Do You Have a Healthy Risk Appetite?

It has often been said that it's not the problems you know about that get you into trouble, it's what you think you know and don't, that is the issue.

Speaking Up Is Hard To Do!

If you research the topic, you will uncover scientific studies that explain the changes in your brain and plausible explanations for why it is hard to do.

We're a Team Right?

In today's business world, it is a commonly accepted practice that we need a team to create and deliver the business' services to customers.

A Management Case Study

Just a few weeks ago I had a conversation with a business owner, who frustrated with the monthly revenue shortfalls and the upcoming projections presented by the sales manager, decided to take matters into her own hands. She side stepped the sales manager and implemented

The Key to Success: Global Leadership. Really!

It has been opined by Fareed Zakaria of CNN that we are in a Post- American world. It is a world not dominated by the United States and not by anyone else yet, either. He has also opined that the key ingredients for economic and social success in the 20th Century were labor and capital. While the key ingredients for success in the 21st century will be ideas and energy.

Build Your Agency

When we work with professional, independent insurance professionals who want to build their agencies, we meet partners and owners who want to grow their agencies in specific ways. One practice-development tactic that can be successful is to build a niche. This is a good way to grow your book of business when you do it in the right way.

Flourish into the Future

I recently read the book The Experience Economy by B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore. To be presumptuous and summarize 350 pages in a few sentences, the essence of the book is that goods and services are no longer enough. The authors hypothesize that there is a progression of economic value that correlates price, competitive position (i.e., differentiation), and customers' needs.

Business Building Tip

A key to developing relationships that really work in business building is to identify who and what kinds of businesses you should build relationships with and focus your efforts on with those people.

Drive Forward through Public Relations

As you may know, public relations (PR) is a function under the marketing umbrella, alongside advertising. While there are similarities between the two and they can (and often should) complement each other, the biggest difference between them is how your company is perceived.

Engaging Employees' "Heads and Hearts": The First Thing to Do

the best single leadership action that can be the most important and best START toward achieving successful employee engagement is

The Right Speed for Technology

Talk to just about any executive about technology, and you'll hear a similar complaint: it's too slow. What they mean, of course, is that the time from conception to product roll-out does not meet the business's needs. The question is how to speed up this process, and the answer has more to do with core business practices than departmental processes or the technology itself.

Effectively Managing Technology Risk

In today's world, with rapidly increasing capabilities becoming available, managing technology risk can be a daunting task. Therefore, the question arises: if you were to focus on one or two actions which will make the most difference in managing that risk, what would those actions be?

A Trigger from Flash Foresight

The specific trigger that they called "Take your biggest problem and skip it", really got my thoughts crankin'.

Is IT an Opportunity to Grow or a Potential Risk? Yes!

IT presents a huge opportunity for growth for many companies, but there can be significant risk.

Short and Effective Ways to Manage Change (Transition)

Implementing significant organizational change (transition) is a primary responsibility of management. The form and structure of an organization; the processes used; products and services provided; and people hired, trained and assigned to jobs are the strategic responsibilities of those in management. The day-to-day responsibilities of what must be done to achieve success rests with the majority of an organization's workforce. The differences between management and employee roles needs to be clearly understood when judging organizational performance.

Agencies should look at employee engagement

Some frightening possibilities follow: According to research, it is estimated that American businesses may only be operating at one-third of their capacity because of the lack of a true connection with their employees.

The Generational Gap: "Can't we all just get along?"

It is critically important to utilize the differences between generations to identify and seek out the strengths represented by each. Melding those strengths together, and understanding how individuals in each segment of the workforce population think, will lead to cohesive, productive and supportive teams.

Focusing for Process Improvement: a Quick Look

Successful leaders know that perfection is impossible yet the effort to improve is a constant in successful organizations. This is based on the reality that there is no steady state in life, either things atrophy and die or

Next Level Leadership

It isn't something that can be defined with words in a dictionary, but is instead an inward intangible force that radiates from you in all that you do.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

As I perused the pages reading the accolades of The Top 100, I started to realize that this group appears to have something quite significant in common. They all questioned conventional wisdom. They did not dismiss it, rather they learned from it; in order to focus on improving the situation at hand.

Don't Confuse Marketing with Selling

From these lips you will not hear that marketing is not important: it is. However, selling skills and the time one devotes to selling is even more important! If your vision for the future is "I intend to be great", what are the actions you should take starting now?

Are You Managing To Prevent The Worst Or Bring Out The Best?

If most of the people in your company hit the lottery with a huge win, would they come to work the next day? If you thought "Who are you kidding?" after that question, maybe it's time to take a long hard look at how you're managing your human assets.

Fix the Toaster

Cost containment has become the mantra over the last several years for almost everyone. People have been accepting the thought, sometimes reluctantly, that they need to do what it takes to survive the downturn.

When Results are Disappointing

When we are feeling disappointed about the results we produced I often wonder if we truly understand the sources of our disappointment.

Opportunity to Lower Your Health Care Cost?

UPI recently reported that those engaged in their work tend to report excellent health, but emotionally disconnected workers tend to report poor health.

Empowerment Why?

A primary reason for empowering a company's workforce is to support continuous improvement programs within organizations committed to achieving and sustaining outstanding quality and performance.

How to Improve Performance by Saying No

Consider how many times you have had conversations with a person to determine if there was sufficient interest to move forward. When you determine there really isn't enough reason to move forward, how often do you call the person and just let them know that? How often do we avoid the call because we are uncomfortable saying the word "No"?

The complex-sales method may not be best option

Today a number of selling and business development tools are available to independent agents that make it is easy to lose sight of the big picture—a personal connection.

When Will China Overtake US (Economy)?

Based on the Economists' projections that you read, somewhere between 2020 and 2040, the economy of China will overtake the USA economy.

Using the Negative to get a Positive

If your experience is anything like mine you have noticed that people can relate more quickly and better to a negative example. That is why anytime I want to try to get a point across I start with a negative example to get their attention, and then give the positive flip side to the same situation.

6 Leadership Actions to Enhance Positive Employee Involvement

Managers focused on high performance business results are searching for ways to maximize the contributions of all employees as their companies face increasingly demanding customers and extremely competitive markets. With heavy emphasis on high quality services and products, the most effective business leaders are recognizing that employees really are valuable resources in achieving daily business success.

Culture Clash

We were aware that any time people operate multiple locations or divisions, they are subject to a potential culture clash. But in preparing to help a build a team within a multinational client, we realized this can apply to much smaller organizations, even those operating locations across the street from each other.

The Buck Stops Here and Here and Here

If empowerment is taken seriously and you really want everyone in your company to take "ownership" in it, doesn't that mean the buck has to stop with each and every person in the company?

What is Passion and Hope Worth to Your Business Bottom Line?

As I was working with a client recently, we were discussing Values. As we started the discussion and it proceeded, the energy level in the room continually rose until there was a spirited discussion of the values of the organization.

21 Ideas for Succession Achieving

At Paradigm Associates, we make a distinction between goal setting and planning and goal achievement. Setting and planning are necessary, but not sufficient to bring about the desired results. Think about succession the same way, i.e. succession achieving instead of succession planning.

Perpetuation Plan; Retirement Plan; Exit Strategy Call It Whatever You Want, Just Do It.

An agency that is well prepared for long-term perpetuation has more value than one not so well prepared. An important element of a perpetuation plan is an exit strategy for the agency principals.

Perpetuation Plan, Retirement Plan, Exit Strategy

Click individual pages to view the article.

page4 page3 page2 page1