Overcoming 2014 Challenges, Moving into 2015

January 27, 2015


We started the year off strong with our Round Table Meetings focused on the topic: “Overcoming 2014 Challenges, Moving into 2015”. Below are the notes from our area meetings. If you’d like to get plugged into a group, contact us today to get signed up for February!

Topic:  Overcoming 2014 Challenges, Moving into 2015

Kalamazoo – Thursday, January 8, 2015


  • Culture
  • Competition
  • Talent – not knowing what you have in an employee until they are in the game.
  • Skill Sets
  • Training
  • Secession planning
  • Management changes


  • Leadership Development program
  • Starting with the top down
  • Bringing in consultants
  • Ramp up “If you know what you are doing wrong, you can fix it.”
  • Educate and Train
  • Talent
  • Not just interview but check references
  • Get with references on some occasions
  • Social Style Profile – D.I.S.K.
  • Slow to hire
  • Train with an experienced mentor
  • Determine if they have management and execution skills
  • Check social media
  • Competition
  • Continue to progressively grow
  • Reinvest in Organization, Marketing and Expansion
  • Differentiate – How do we compete? Why should a company work with us vs. another company?  What can we bring to the table our competition can’t or isn’t?
  • Ask companies if it is about the price or it is about qualifications and what we can do for them.  Looking for long-term partnership in business.
  • Profiling – Where can you best serve them?
  • Culture
  • Continue to propagate the new hires.
  • Fight for the finances it takes to promote culture.  It is worth it.
  • Spend the time it takes
  • Keep the culture alive and enforce it.
  • Fire those that don’t fit your culture.


  • Fighting for Culture
  • Competition
  • Secession planning
  • Our Companies Culture needs to change, Increase dynamics.
  • Keep being creative.
  • The larger we get, the more people we need, the more important culture is.
  • (T+F) x I=G   (Talent + Fit) x Investment = Growth

Grand Rapids – Tuesday, January 9, 2015

Key Challenges:

  • Instilling change that lasts requires a shifting of the value system for our staff and stakeholders.
  • Just “checking off the box” to say we addressed the need to change ultimately can make that change even more challenging to achieve.
  • We have fear of failure.
  • We must be identifying the correct target (audience) for the changes we desire, lest our energy and effort is worse than wasted.
  • People frequently don’t want to accept the truth. Denial is easy, popular, rampant and evil.
  • Our own greed and selfish desires are the root causes (character flaws) of the fights and quarrels that occur among us.
  • American society is steeped in many non-Biblical practices of social inequalities, and the gaps are widening.

Key Solutions:

  • Pour our energy and resources into the right problem at the right point of entry.
  • When we want to change the culture we must also realign the expectations.
  • Fears of failure should be redefined as being opportunities for growth.
  • Collaborative solutions reduce individual investments, increase mutually shared benefits, and change multiple cultures.
  • E-commerce is both a challenge and a solution.
  • A reactive solution reduces the chances for successfulness; a proactive solution increases the chances for successfulness.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bold changes require making bold investments.
  • Timing always matters. All things in God’s time work out work to his glory. All things in our time fail, eventually.
  • The process of growth always produces pains and struggles.  When those pains and struggles are experienced in proper perspective they can yield amazing growth.
  • Be self-aware of the unintended consequences of the authoritative power that we may be wielding over others.
  • To break a cycle is incredibly challenging, but to achieve that goal instills permanent change.
  • A healthy loving family is the core solution to a healthy loving community, which is the core solution to a healthy loving society.

Grand Rapids – Thursday, January 13, 2015


  • Changing economy for 2015 “Don’t worry Be Happy”
  • Be prepared to pay your people more (especially the good / top performers)
  • Managing the business flow / cycles
  • Operational issues
  • Relevancy (focusing on the right stuff)
  • Managing metrics vs. soft measures (which is more important / most relevant)
  • Talent gap
  • Balance and Priorities
  • Resource allocation
  • Priorities (the right ones)
  • Clarity and focus
  • Communication
  • Right person / proper assessments
  • Budget battles
  • Technology changes
  • Problem identification
  • Balance
  • Evaluating / celebrating success


  • Narrow your focus (measure / focus on the key few)
  • Metrics – measure what we have done and need to do
  • Re-doing the roadmap
  • Decide and act
  • Justify bringing in the proper resources
  • Growth through innovation
  • More time to think / build into your calendar or planner
  • Prayer / fasting / listen to the Lord


  • Act with purpose
  • Act with passion
  • Just Act

Holland – Thursday, January 8, 2015


  • Move towards strategic and move from day to day
  • Balancing the stewardship of two (2) businesses
  • Change in position and responsibility
  • Business cycle issues
  • Production / Through put issues
  • Talent development under 25% growth
  • Succession planning / identification of the next generation of leaders
  • Balancing both internal and external issues
  • Hiring people in “tough” times / hiring people in “ good” times
  • Staffing / personnel issues


  • Hire right
  • Identify the five (5) things you need to focus on
  • Work the plan
  • Measure the plan / progress
  • Search and explore opportunities and partnerships
  • Quarterly strengths and weaknesses review
  • Getting to know yourself first (a life plan)
  • Don’t react too quick
  • Live more daily
  • Identify leaders and coach them
  • Engage, engage, engage


  • Develop the plan and measure results
  • Create some form of accountability
  • Learn from 2014, don’t focus on 2014
  • New Year, new start, new opportunities

Kalamazoo – Tuesday, January 13, 2015


  • “Each year we have the same basic challenges with just a different flavor.”
  • Regulatory Overreach
  • With over 30 thousand new regulations this last year it is hard to keep up.
  • Some regulations contradict each other.
  • Companies can get a violation, fine and then have to fight with legal defense which is costly.
  • Customer-“It used to be you dealt directly with the owner; now you have middle men making it more difficult to determine what the customer wants.”
  • Growth
  • Lack of Leadership
  • Culture
  • Personnel Changes
  • Piracy of high “C’s”


  • Growth and Lack of Leadership
  • Leadership Development Program
  • Get consultants
  • Get your team to understand the business and how it works.
  • Training specifically for the job
  • Good leaders know how to handle success.  Don’t get beyond what you can do.  Be ok with saying no.
  • Managed guidance
  • Provide the tools
  • Piracy of the High “C’s”
  • Take care of your people.
  • Treat them appropriately with fair compensation.
  • Stay close enough so they succeed – that is a balance.
  • Help them feel confident about their ability with their job.
  • Make sure they have the right career path for them.
  • Customer
  • Constant changes: be aware and make the appropriate adjustments.
  • Learn the middle man/woman and owners to determine what they want.
  • Regulatory Over Reach
  • Be informed.
  • Pray
  • Personnel Changes
  • Don’t assume the employee understands and is engaged.
  • Come along side, but don’t hover.
  • Understand their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Let them know you are committed to their success.
  • Culture
  • Make it a great place to work.
  • “If the offense is good, you don’t have to worry about the defense.”
  • Let your people know to ask for help and that you are happy to give it to them.
  • Cultivate a growing and learning environment.
  • Make sure everyone is on the same page.

Takeaway: What are you going to do?  How are you going to fix it?

  • Leadership Development Program
  • Have a good vision, good goals and good leadership team.
  • Continue to develop the leadership team.
  • Leadership challenge: Take 6 or 8 people that are key and embrace them like Jesus embraced his disciples.  Impact those key people so they are enthusiastic and engaged.
  • Meet the challenges and enjoy the journey.
  • Be sensitive to what is going on around you.
  • Be engaged with balance.
  • Model physically how to handle things.
  • Have sensitivity to intervene with the correct message at the right time.
  • Remember how long it took us to learn what we know.  Don’t take that for granted or expect that too soon from others. Have the right perspective.
  • Build the team.