Archive Search

Advanced Search

Search results
A black-and-white thinker is said to see only yes or no, right or wrong, good or evil — and nothing in between. Some suggest black-and-white thinkers view the world without emotion and practice only logical thought. Naysayers sing the praises of the various shades of gray — and the nuances that lie in between. Children are taught that color represents creativity. Just ask any child about his or her reaction to their first big box of Crayola crayons. Black may work well for an outline but what child can resist the temptation of Shocking Pink, Midnight Blue or Jungle Green?…
The customer is always king. It might sound like a cliché, but when you think about it, how long has it been since you actually heard somebody say it? There was a time that customer service was a given. Remember the scene in “Back to the Future” when the lead character arrives in the 1950s to the bizarre sight of a team of gas station attendants descending upon a car? Audiences roared with laughter. Most of us have probably noticed erosion in customer service. Perhaps your supermarket no longer offers to help you take your groceries to the car. Customer…
One-to-one communication problems often can be resolved by understanding your communication style through the styles of others. Effective managers do this to make other people understand them, be receptive to ideas and lessen their resistance to change. The work of psychologist Carl Jung offers a framework that managers can adopt to improve communication. Jung found that people tend to have one of four communication styles: thinker, feeler, doer and intuitor. Our navigational styles form patterns of behavior recognized by others through the way we write, dress, speak, act and think. Let’s examine navigational styles and see if you recognize yourself.Thinker…
We can always count on Northern California to generate a good debate. On one hand, we saw Yahoo eliminate work-from-home arrangements last year, and on the other, the city of San Francisco passed the Family Friendly Workplace Ordinance on Oct. 8. Essentially, this ordinance and a similar law recently passed in Vermont grant employees the right to request flexibility or predictability in schedule, and the employer is compelled to respond by either granting or denying the request in a prescribed time frame. Both measures have heightened scrutiny of flexibility and what it means to create an effective workplace. Smart, forward-thinking…
Four years ago, David Lopez found his calling. A striving Fort Lauderdale entrepreneur, Lopez came across a unique opportunity: a mobile dental equipment repair company. With a strong background in franchising, Lopez, who was looking for a recession-proof business model that could offer a high return on investment, knew he had found what he had been looking for and couldn’t pass it up. So he bought a van with his friend and partner, Mike Parker. They equipped it with tools and inventory and started to approach dentists’ offices to offer on-site handpiece repair, equipment service and sales. Two years later,…
Bill Hamm was facing some difficult news a year ago for Independent Financial Partners, the company of which he was CEO and had launched in 2000. It was not on how to deal with the explosive 1,000 percent growth the company had experienced the year before, but an internal issue. He had to terminate his chief operating and chief compliance officers. “We had one employee who took some liberties with some forms that they created, and it created a compliance issue,” Hamm says. “It had nothing to do with client money or anything like that. As a result — to…
The size of the service sector, global competition, rising labor and technology costs and demanding customers all force companies to create excellent customer experiences. The challenge firms face today is knowing their customer’s definition of service quality and how to deliver that at a reasonable cost to create superior customer value. Customers use service encounters to assess the quality of a firm’s offering. So, how can we “wow” customers? It’s all about the service experience Seventy percent of customer defections are due to service problems. Improving service quality is like taking vitamins, eating healthy and exercising regularly. Although the results…
Mark Pentecost knew it was time to work on the substantial growth his company, It Works!, was experiencing — and stop putting out fires all the time. The health and wellness company, whose flagship product is called the Ultimate Body Applicator, grew from $29 million in revenue in 2010, to $45 million in 2011, to more than $200 million in 2012. There were growing pains along the way, but Pentecost, president and CEO, prefers to think of them as high-class problems. “I think you get caught in the weeds putting out fires all the time instead of being at 10,000…
Former Dallas Cowboys right guard Crawford Ker played under some top coaches in his day — including Tom Landry and Jimmy Johnson — and he’s quick to comment he’s learned that for the best coaches, a team owes its wins to the process. “It’s all about the process; the best coaches don’t get too far ahead of themselves,” he says. “You have to celebrate your wins, but you have to say, ‘OK, that was last week. Let’s move on to this week.’ You just have to be really centered.” While that formula holds its weight on the gridiron as long…
We’ve all heard the saying “timing is everything.” But is it always true? And for that matter, what does “timing” really mean? Frankly, I think many people allow the notion of timing to overly-influence their decision-making in every area of day-to-day life. In business, it can absolutely paralyze you if you’re perpetually waiting for the right moment. This is not to say that one should make rash decisions based on nothing but whims. But over the years, I’ve seen many well-intentioned individuals take such a cautious approach to their businesses that nothing ever gets done. Brash moves get rewarded The…
Communication style conflicts can have a powerful effect on the activities within a corporation. When we communicate, we are either building or breaking down relationships with individuals who are part of our working teams. In the business environment, management problems are more frequently interpersonal problems than anything else. If we can become more sensitive to the qualities that make up different styles of communication, we can work from our strengths rather than our weakneify our styles to be more effective with others — in other words, we can learn to “speak their language.” Here are three key steps to increase…
Sunday, 29 September 2013 09:15

Ron Antevy: Make your next tech project a winner

Written by
Here is an alarming statistic — more than two-thirds of all technology projects fail. The rollout of new technology is a necessity in today’s business environment, where companies must innovate to grow and remain competitive, but how do you introduce technology into your business the right way? How do you overcome the fear of change and of technology itself inherent in every rollout? How do you encourage people to use new technology, or better yet, how do you turn them into champions of the “new” way? Here are strategies that we’ve seen work based on our own experiences implementing our…
Google pay-per-click advertising is a great tool for building brand awareness and generating leads online. It can be a bit complicated for some, but there are four things you should be doing for your PPC to reach its fullest potential. 1. Organize keywords to target niche prospect groups The difference between an ignored ad and an effective ad is its relevance. An ad for jewelry gets ignored when it appears in the search results of someone seeking remodeling services. The way you can make your ad the most relevant to prospects is by separating them according to the keywords they…
Michael Yormark doesn’t have to look too far among his many steadfast employees to find the perfect example of how his company empowers people who work hard — who are dedicated, passionate and willing to do whatever it takes to succeed. He stops on Matt Rickoff, vice president of sponsorships. “I am very proud of the way he has grown his career and made an impact on this organization,” Yormark says. The organization? Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, a holding company whose heart is one of the fastest-paced sports characterized by its passionate fans — hockey. Yormark, president of Sunrise Sports…
If you are like the majority of business executives, you prefer communications by email. But is it at any price? What about some ground rules for civility? A recent Google search of “email etiquette” resulted in a substantial number of entries — the majority with a spotlight on protocol for the sender. Call me naive, but shouldn’t the recipient behave responsibly too? Let’s face it; responding to most emails has become optional due to the absence of accountability and/or real human emotion. One could even say that email correspondence is the professional world’s high-tech version of hide and seek. However,…
The late Ed Koch, a recent New York City mayor, always asked, “How am I doing?” Marketers — as well as government leaders — need to know if their “customers” are happy. Perhaps you head the marketing operations for your company and want to get a better handle on customer metrics. You heard about the idea of a marketing dashboard at a recent trade association meeting and think that may solve your problem. How should you proceed? What should be on your dashboard? Progressing beyond a single item to monitor the effectiveness of business performance, leading organizations often use a…
"Business Class" by Randall Kenneth Jones If you are like the majority of business executives, you prefer communications by email. But is it at any price? What about some ground rules for civility? A recent Google search of “email etiquette” resulted in a substantial number of entries — the majority with a spotlight on protocol for the sender. Call me naive, but shouldn’t the recipient behave responsibly too? Let’s face it; responding to most emails has become optional due to the absence of accountability and/or real human emotion. One could even say that email correspondence is the professional world’s high-tech…
Yosi Gil understands the pride that a person feels when he or she can point to a construction project and say, “Hey, I helped make that happen.” It’s a feeling that anyone who’s ever helped a building rise from the ground can relate to. “The guy who built the Empire State Building will pass by and say, ‘I was one of the people who made it,’” Gil says. That sense of pride is something Gil feels very strongly about. It’s a feeling he not only wants to share with his employees, but it’s one that he hopes his employees and…
Four years ago, Jorge Gonzalez didn’t have to be told that economic factors were not conducive for banks to report good earnings. There were indicators everywhere: the economy was weak, the real estate market was weak, interest rates were down and regulatory costs were up. While those uncontrollables made it challenging to reposition City National Bank of Florida, of which he was president and later CEO, Gonzalez had a plan. And it worked. Last year, the bank had the best year in its history. Net income was $190.2 million, compared to $34.4 million in 2011. Revenue for 2012 was $190…
In his autobiography, famed filmmaker Frank Capra wrote, “If you have to think about it, forget it.” The idea that one’s gut instincts were the best guide to success certainly served the man who made such timeless classics as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” I’m a firm believer in that notion. Because I’m in the business of consumer products, I try to look at things from the customer’s perspective — from concept to delivery. What do they want or need? How will they use the product? What can make it more appealing or useful? What…
                           
TechnologyFINALISTPaul DemirdjianCEOJagged PeakEarly in his career, Paul Demirdjian had been involved in developing software applications to facilitate process efficiencies, enhance customer service and product delivery. At the time, he knew he was only scratching the surface of the potential that Web-based technologies held.He envisioned that websites of the ’90s would quickly evolve from simple information presentation layers into transaction layers, enabling companies to interact with and sell to their customers.This vision was accelerated by an experience he had dealing with an online electronics retailer whose call center couldn’t locate his order, nor did they know if the product was in…
TechnologyFINALISTCrystal Culbertson CEO Crystal Clear TechnologiesCrystal Culbertson had launched a successful business, but there was something missing that would make Crystal Clear Technologies even better. Culbertson decided she needed to begin performing the services that she was selling in order to bring the consulting firm to its full potential.So she and her husband, who was also the company’s president, brought services in house. It wasn’t easy and the Culbertsons had to raise some of the money for the firm by borrowing against their own property. But the risk paid off, despite a lot of sleepless nights.CCT provides IT services to…
ServicesFINALISTMichael I. Kaufmanpresident and CEOKaufman Lynn ConstructionMike Kaufman did not start Kaufman Lynn Construction under the best of circumstances. He was a father of four who suddenly found himself out of work and needing a job to support his family.His first step was to dust off his tools from college and begin taking odd jobs for homeowners as he simultaneously looked for an opportunity to break into the commercial side of the construction industry.He got an offer to perform as a subcontractor which he took eagerly, but it required him to take out a personal loan from his mother-in-law in…
TechnologyAWARD RECIPIENTDan Doyle Jr. president and CEO DEX ImagingDan Doyle Jr. had two objectives in mind when he co-founded DEX Imaging in 2002 with his father, Dan Sr.He wanted to create a privately-held dealership that focuses on quality service. He also wanted to give back one third of the company’s profits to charities and educational programs within the markets where DEX does business.That commitment to both community and customer service has not wavered a bit over the past decade as Doyle has grown his business through the headwind of one of the toughest economic downturns the industry and the country…
ServicesFINALISTDavid HernandezCEO and co-founderAlberto Dairepresident and co-founderLiberty Power Corp.David Hernandez and Alberto Daire weren’t scared off from founding Liberty Power shortly after the 2001 Enron Corp. scandal. It was a trying situation, however, and entering the power industry at that time presented significant risks. Banks were hesitant to make loans, and customers had lost trust in utility companies.So the pair took a different approach — Liberty Power was able to position itself as the “anti-utility company” that focused on customer relationships and excellent service rather than chasing profits.Hernandez and Daire have led Liberty Power to become the largest independent retail…
ServicesAWARD RECIPIENTPhilip Anson Jr.CEOSTS Holdings Inc.When it comes time to honor employees who have been with 29-year-old STS Holdings Inc. for 10 years, CEO Philip Jay Anson Jr. gives the employee a Rolex watch as recognition. The Rolex watches are a small expense when thanking employees for their loyalty — the main reason why STS has been able to grow into the type of company it is today.In fact, Anson says, STS does not have to work overtime to attract talent these days. Nearly every day someone knocks on the company’s door looking for an opportunity; some are willing to…
Page 1 of 7