Keys to Business Survival and Success: What Are They and What Role Does Responsiveness Play?

June 26, 2018

In the June Round Table meetings, we discussed the “Keys to Business Survival & Success: What Are They & What Role Does Responsiveness Play?”

At our recent Leadership Event, Rick Warren, Chairman & CEO of Warren Strategies, explained that Responsiveness is the Ultimate Key to Business Survival and Success. If you were unable to attend, subscribe to our YouTube channel here where you can review all past Leadership Event presentations. Be sure to turn on your notifications so that you are the first to know when Rick’s presentation is available.

Below are the notes from the June Round Table meetings.

Birmingham Round Table

Topic: “Keys To Business Survival & Success: What Are They & What Role Does
Responsiveness Play?”
Q1: What are the keys?

  • Need discipline of the new workforce to re-instate performance requirements and
    values with both carrot and stick approach. No need to be militaristic or mean
    spirited – just firm and unrelenting.
  • Use automation where possible to speed up and simplify revenue generation and
    costs management.

Q2: What is important about responsiveness?

  • Use text, email and most importantly the telephone.
  • Be consistent. Adjust to client’s style and use it aggressively.
  • Responsiveness also requires innovation, automation, adaptation

Q3: How are these impacting your business?

  • Hiring staff and getting performance from a new generation of workers is very
    difficult for all businesses. The “old-style’ work ethic is missing and badly needed.


  • Need to step up and meet the challenge of work force lack of discipline and miss set
    expectations of performance demands. Also need to stop sending people to college
    to get deeply in debt and learn very little that will be used in their future career.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Tuesday)


  • Responding vs. Reacting.
  • You get used to being the “answer man.”
  • Default responses aren’t always the best for every situation.
  • Your response depends on who your client is and what type of client they are.


  • Remain open to monitoring your success. You may have reached success but lost it along the way.
  • Always secure your passion. May lose it as you deal with the business side of things.
  • Desire to develop others.
  • Be responsive to the need, not necessarily the criticism. You don’t have to respond to everything.
  • A response is different from a reaction:
    • Response is calculated
    • Stop, pause, ask questions
    • Silence is okay – slow down
  • Don’t always respond. Allow others to grow and learn on their own.
  •  Focus on the dynamics. Build a plan for your responses to reduce time and increase effectiveness.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Thursday)


  • Must have good people in your company in order to succeed.
  • The struggle between hiring manager and C-suite. The hiring manager needs to fill the open position quickly to ensure that the job gets done, while the C-suite wants to focus on finding someone who fits the culture and vision of the company.
  • Companies must adapt to the staffing shortage.


  • Hire good people and get out of their way.
    • Must have good people – even among general labor.
  • Create an atmosphere of creativity. Google requires their employees to dedicate a few hours each week to projects that are not related to their job.
  • Recognize that recruitment relates to marketing and branding. Your company image matters.
  • Remove barriers when recruiting. Certain types of dress may send the wrong impression (e.g. wearing a suit and tie among factory workers).
  • Recruit for your industry, not just your company.
  • Ensure that your hiring manager understands what leadership skills and characteristics you are looking for.
  • Include your hiring manager in meetings so that they will understand the vision and know what you will need in the future.
  • Consider outside vendors rather than hiring a part-time or full-time position.
  • Companies must grow. Be willing to consider options/new technology.

Kalamazoo Round Table (Friday)

Keys to Success: 

  • A good business plan & knowing the business / industry you’re in
  • Marketing / advertising
  • Good relationships with people / vendors / resources
  • Sales plan
  • Profitability
  • Values
  • Good, consistent & effective communication
  • Leadership
  • Alignment with goals / culture / values / vision
  • Right people in right seats
  • Business process
  • Service excellence

What is key when we’re in survival mode?

  • Identify what’s most important
  • Continual learning – gain outside perspectives
  • Be flexible and adaptable
  • Know your customer – research
  • Go to your reserves / financial reserves
  • Keep to the basics
  • Be transparent as much as possible
  • Maintain relationships with good vendors / partners & lean on them for support

Role Responsiveness Plays:

  • Accessibility
  • How much is too much?
  • Need to be client-centric
  • Set measures / expectations
  • Customer isn’t always right – they are always important
  • Set goals for responsiveness – be proactive, not reactive
    • Need to remind staff of the rules of communication every 3 months or so
  • How is our responsiveness structured?
  • How proactive are we?
  • Need to survey clients to confirm
  • Responsibility is on us as leaders


  • Think about proactive ways / tips to maintain relationships – ie. friendships within the organization retain people
  • Attitude – teaching – “nothing should be born before it’s time”
  • Hold weekly leadership meetings to be like a rhythm including quarterly topics for leaders to train / talk about

How does responsiveness play in each of these areas? 

  • Values 
  • Marketing  
    • How well are we showing what’s in it for them?
  • Sales  
    • Are we making this a responsive process – how easy are we to work with from the clients perspective?
  • Operations  
    • Set timeframes / expectations on standard response times
  • Service 
  • Support

Grand Rapids Round Table (Thursday)

The main take-away of the day was: “Above all else, stay true to your core principles and let God provide in order for Him to achieve his purpose.”

Join us next month as we discuss the topic of “Stewarding Employees Well: Keys to Seeing, Valuing, and Managing Employees as People.” RSVP to